A world of visionaries

An image of Saturn from “Beyond: Visions of Our Solar System’’ at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington. An image of Saturn from “Beyond: Visions of Our Solar System’’ at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington.
By Mark Feeney
Globe Staff / September 5, 2010

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“Beyond: Visions of Our Solar System’’: If the title of this exhibition sounds familiar, it may be because it ran at the Worcester Art Museum in spring 2009 under the title “Beyond: Visions of Planetary Landscapes.’’ This version at the National Air and Space Museum has nearly three times as many images as Worcester did, 148 in all. And what images they are. Taken from the digital imagery generated by NASA and other space probes and in many cases enhanced by author Michael Benson, who put together the exhibition, they show all the planets in the solar system, numerous moons, asteroids, and, of course, the sun. “My goal,’’ writes Benson, “was to locate, digitally process, and print some of the most extraordinary sights ever captured. I view the photographic legacy of these missions as being a chapter in the history of photography.’’ They are certainly that, as well as a chapter in several other histories: of exploration, technology, astronomy, and the human imagination. Sixth Street and Independence Avenue SW, 202-633-1000,

SEPT. 25-JAN. 16
“Robert Adams: The Place We Live, a Retrospective Selection of Photographs’’: The Vancouver Art Gallery presents this gathering of four decades of work by one of the most distinguished living photographers. Adams offers a unique and compelling vision of the West’s natural beauty and how it has — and hasn’t — altered in the face of tract housing, highway construction, and economic development. 750 Hornby St., 604-662-4719,

SEPT. 28-JAN. 2
“The World of Khubilai Khan: Chinese Art in the Yuan Dynasty’’: The grandson of Genghis Khan, Khubilai founded China’s Yuan Dynasty and ruled over a fifth of the world’s inhabited land mass. This exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art includes more than 200 items: paintings, sculpture, textiles, ceramics, and works of decorative art in gold and silver. 1000 Fifth Ave., 212-535-7710,

SEPT. 28-FEB. 6
“Andre Kertesz’’: One of the greatest photographers of the 20th century (perhaps the greatest), Kertesz grew up in Hungary and came of artistic age in Paris during the ’20s and ’30s. Yet there has never been a true retrospective of his work in Europe. This Jeu de Paume exhibition remedies that startling omission, bringing together both photographs and documents to give a sense of how Kertesz helped create, in his words, “a real photographic language.’’ 1 Place de la Concorde, 011-33-1-47-03-12-50, www.jeu

SEPT. 30-JAN. 16
“Gauguin’’: This blockbuster exhibition at Tate Modern, which brings together some 200 paintings, drawings, and other works by the Post-Impressionist master, will look at both his French and Polynesian periods. After its London run, “Gauguin’’ is scheduled to travel to the National Gallery of Art, in Washington, where it will be up from Feb. 27-June 5. Bankside,, 011-44-20-7887-8888

OCT. 8-JAN. 9
“Michelangelo: The Drawings of a Genius’’: Sculptor, architect, painter, Michelangelo was also a superlative draftsman. This exhibition offers some 100 of his drawings, with a focus on his renderings of the human figure. To provide a richer artistic context for the drawings, images of Michelangelo’s ceiling frescoes will be projected. There’ll also be casts of his sculptures, as well as paintings by other artists inspired by his drawings. Albertinaplatz 1, 011-43-1-534-83-0,

“India’s Fabled City: The Art of Courtly Lucknow’’: This Los Angeles County Museum of Art exhibition looks at the fabled city, which was at its cultural and economic height during the 18th and early 19th centuries. On display will be album paintings, illustrated manuscripts, textiles, clothing, metalwork, glassware, and jewelry. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., 323-857-6000


Events are sometimes canceled, rescheduled, or sold out; check online. Mark Feeney can be reached at