Before every piece of art in the world was made perusable on the World Wide Web, the best way for American artists to see what was going on across the pond was to, well, cross the pond. In the mid-19th Century, that´s just what a group of Boston-based artists did. With French painter Claude Monet as a study buddy, the artists returned home, and the souvenir they brought back was a little gift called impressionism. You can see the results yourself, as ¨French Impressionism and Boston: Masterworks from the Museum of Fine Arts¨ opens Saturday at the Norton Museum of Art (1451 S. Olive Ave., West Palm Beach).
Triggered by William Morris Hunt´s affection for the French Barbizon School and his friendship with French painter Jean François Millet other Boston artists followed suit. ¨French Impressionism and Boston¨ includes 53 works by the Bostonians (Hunt, John Singer Sargent, Childe Hassam, Edmund Charles Tarbell) and their French counterparts (Monet, Edgar Degas, Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Pierre-Auguste Renoir). That includes Degas´ classic Race Horses at Longchamp, Sargent´s Helen Sears, and Monet´s Camille Monet and a Child in the Artist´s Garden in Argenteuil (pictured). The exhibit runs through March 6. Call 561-832-5196, or visit www.norton.org. Jason Budjinski
The Heart of Matter
Birds and bees of the cosmos
Only one thing could be more complex and baffling than Florida car insurance rates, post-hurricane refrigerator occupants, and Carl Sagan´s eyebrows. And that´s the lifeline of the cosmos. Science gurus at the Buehler Planetarium (Broward Community College, 3501 SW Davie Rd., Davie) are ready to tell you everything your parents wouldn´t (or couldn´t) explain in the new presentation Springtime of the Universe. Trace the development of the universe from its steamy conception through those awkward adolescent years and into the future, eons from now, when it´ll be hitting the early-bird at Sizzler with a senior discount card... and of course, its eventual demise. The starry-ceiling showcase will also provide insights into star formation, supernovae, and the death of our sun. Who knew you could learn the secrets of the universe at a community college for six bucks? The show begins at 7 p.m. Call 954-201-6681, or visit www.iloveplanets.com. Jamie Laughlin
Gunn's special gift
As an illustrator of children´s novels, Linda Gunn has a responsibility to capture her young audience´s heightened sense of imagination. Fortunately, she delivers. With a knack for detail and loads of creative fervor, Gunn´s illustrations tell more than a mere thousand words. Armed with watercolor and ink, Gunn crafts pieces that are a fantasy world unto themselves. That comes in handy when viewing ¨Linda Gunn´s Celebration of Illustration¨ at Old School Square (51 N. Swinton Ave., Delray Beach). The exhibit culls 22 pieces from the books Florian´s Special Gift, A Cedar Valley Christmas, and Flippy of Kensington, sans text, of course. The exhibit is open now through January 15. Call 561-243-7922, or visit www.oldschool.org. Jason Budjinski
British photographer John Dibbs couldn´t shake his childhood love of flying machines. After giving up on fashion design, Dibbs became an aeronautical photographer, snapping pictures of bombers, copters, and jetliners from World War II to modern times. His exhibit ¨Flying Legends¨ opens Thursday and runs through January 7 at the Palm Beach Photographic Centre (55 NE Second Ave., Delray Beach). Call 561-276-9797. Jason Budjinski