LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
American Picture Show
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of its photography department, the Getty Center will showcase nearly 200 family snapshots in a special exhibition, Close to Home: An American Album, through Jan. 16, 2005. Dating mostly from 1930 to 1960 — with several examples from the mid-1800s — and spanning the continent, these portraits depict ordinary people, as seen through the eye of the lens. Close to Home features the works of famous photographers, such as Dorothea Lange, Alfred Stieglitz and Edward Weston, as well as more than 120 amateur shots, collected over the years at open-air markets. The exhibit also includes 25 prints created by artist Guy Stricherz from Kodachrome transparencies he received after putting out a public call for old color slides. Subjects pose with their dearest friends and loved ones, their prized possessions and their prized possessions and their fanciest — or most casual — clothes. You’re sure to recognize the emotions behind these snapshots, if not the people. Admission to the Getty is free; parking costs $5 per car. For more information, call (310) 440-7300 or visit <www.getty.edu>.
ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI
Heading for Home
The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Coopers-town, NY, scores a home run with its traveling exhibit Baseball As America, on display at the Missouri History Museum through April 24, 2005. Featuring more than 500 historical balls, bats, gloves, uniforms, books and photographs, the exhibit explores the evolution of the nation’s pastime and its effects on our society and culture. See the legendary “Doubleday baseball” from the mythical first game, Jackie Robinson’s 1956 Brooklyn Dodgers jersey, artifacts from the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, Shoeless Joe Jackson’s shoes and more. You’ll catch baseball fever all over again. Admission costs $8 for adults and $7 for seniors and students age 7 and older (but you’ll get in free on Tuesdays). Contact the Missouri History Museum (314-746-4599, <www.mohistory.org>) or visit the Baseball As America Web site <www.baseballasamerica.com> for details.
BIG TIMBER, MONTANA
Rustlin’ up Rhymes
Big Timber welcomes all pickers, grinners and poets to participate in the annual Montana Cowboy Poetry Wintercamp Jan. 14-16, 2005. Held at American Legion Post 19, this festival keeps Western traditions alive through open-mike poetry, music through open-mike poetry, music and storytelling. The camp kicks off Friday evening with a chuck-wagon meal and entertainment by young bards from area schools. All day Saturday, listen to local pickers and poets performing on an open stage. Saturday night, Montana’s best bards will wax poetic in the Nightrider Show. The weekend winds up Sunday morning at Cowboy Church. Friday’s meal costs $5, and the Nightrider Show costs $12; all other events are free. Call (406) 932-4427 for details.
CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA
Curious about your ancestors’ eating habits? Through Sept. 12, 2005, the Charleston Museum will explore 18th-and 19th-century dining customs in its exhibition The Bountiful Coast: Foodways of the South Carolina Lowcountry. Find out how people of all social classes procured, prepared and served their food. Exhibit highlights include place settings and furniture from South Carolina dining rooms, antique kitchen utensils, and artifacts excavated from Charleston’s beef market, which flourished during the 18th century on the current City Hall grounds. Admission costs $9 for adults and $4 for children. For additional information, call (843) 722-2996 or visit <www.charlestonmuseum.org>.
Wish you could dance as your Civil War ancestors did? Learn how at Gadsby’s Tavern Museum — a once-thriving 1800s hotel — Jan. 12, 19 and 26, 2005, from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Classes cost $12 each or $30 for the series, and include instruction in the waltz, polka, Virginia Reel and other period dances. Jan. 29, you’ll get to show off your fancy footwork at the museum’s Civil War Ball, featuring live music, dance instruction and old-time desserts from 8 to 11 p.m. Dress up in 19th-century civilian or military garb, and prepare to mingle — dancing with one person all night was considered rude in Civil War times. Ball tickets cost $30 in advance and $40 at the door; to order, call (703) 838-4242 or visit <www.gadsbystavern.org>.