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Opportunities to expand the mind and expend the purse are abundant this weekend and into the next, with art and history exhibits, lectures on Egyptian artifact conservation, Gustave Courbet and contemporary glass blowing along with the advent of holiday art show-and-sales.
Events tonight (Thursday, Nov. 12) will draw in art and history buffs: The fund-raiser reception for the MacArthur Museum of Military History's show “Lee and Grant,” a traveling exhibit from the National Endowment for the Humanities On the Road program, and a conservator's lecture on the artifacts in the Arkansas Arts Center's “World of the Pharaohs” exhibit.
The MacArthur Museum show features personal items, documents, reproduction clothing and paintings, photographs and more, including the Bible that Robert E. Lee carried with him and Ulysses S. Grant's binoculars.
Stephan McAteer, director of the museum, said the show will look at the lives of the two men before, during and after the Civil War — their upbringing, families, military careers and their contributions to post-war reconciliation. The show should appeal to children as well as adults, thanks to interactive components (like iPod technology and a replica of a Civil War tent). Family Day on Saturday, Nov. 14, will feature activities for kids and lectures for adults.
Tickets to tonight's fund-raiser are $250 a couple and may be purchased at the door. After the reception, from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., re-enactors Al Stone (as Lee) and Barry Meadows (as Grant) will debate at the Holiday Inn Presidential. That event is free and open to the public.
Call 376-4602 for more information.
At the Arkansas Arts Center, Laura Lipscei, the assistant conservator at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, will talk about the science of keeping ancient artifacts intact in her lecture, “Revealing the Secrets of the Pharaohs: Conservation of the Ancient Egyptian Collection,” at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 12. A reception precedes the talk, in the Children's Theatre, at 6 p.m. Tickets are $5 for non-members; members get in free.
n Nov. 13 is 2nd Friday Art Night, with receptions from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. for exhibits at the Arkansas Studies Institute, The Arts Scene, Christ Church, the Historic Arkansas Museum, Norton Fine Arts, the Copper Grill and the River Market Tower.
The latter, a special event, is a ticketed “Show and Sale” of work by 13 Little Rock artists; it will cost you $10 to get in to the show, on the 17th floor of the condos at Third and Rock streets.
At the galleries: New paintings by Malaysian-born artist Sui Hoe Khoo at ASI, 401 President Clinton Ave.; holiday gifts by seven Arkansas artists at The Arts Scene, 110 N. State St.; mixed media collages by Jeri Hillis, photographs by Deborah Warren and textiles by Lauren McIntire at HAM, 200 E. Third St.; “Little Rock Is Working,” photographs, at Christ Church, 509 Scott St.; “Unusual Works of Art,” holiday show at Norton, 1206 Main St., and Robert Walker at the Copper Grill, 300 E. Third.
Doug Norton will paint on-site and BongoWillie will provide music at The Arts Scene, and musicians Nick Devlin and Brian Nahlen will entertain at HAM.
Another seasonal show-and-sale kicks off: The 15th annual “Holiday Art Show and Sale” at Gallery 26, 2601 Kavanaugh Blvd., featuring work by no fewer than 77 area artists, opens with a reception at 7 p.m. Nov. 14. Music by Kevin Kerby and the Winston Family.
Other talks coming up: Glass artist Beth Lipman will speak at the Friends of Contemporary Crafts “Conversation” series at the Arts Center at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 15 ($15 to FOCC members, $20 to nonmembers), and J. Paul Getty Museum associate curator Mary Morton will give a talk, “Gustave Courbet and the Modern Landscape,” to give context to the Arts Center's latest acquisition at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 19.