The Boca Raton Museum of Art (501 Plaza Real, Mizner Park, Boca Raton) decks the halls just in time for the holidays this week. Of course, as with any good museum, it's not decking the walls with tinsel and popcorn strings. Three new exhibitions give the museum a whole new look and art lovers several new opportunities.
The first, "American Modernism: Paintings from the Dr. and Mrs. Mark S. Kauffman Collection," is just what its title suggests -- 75 paintings that cover the gamut of early 20th-century art. Strange to think that the period roughly from the 1920s to the 1950s is still considered the Modern period, but it's actually the precise sort of meaningless conundrum that makes sense in the postmodern world. In any case, these paintings cover many of the artistic movements of the era, from cubism to Americana, from abstract experiments to social realism. Expect to see work by Byron Browne, Stuart Davis, Walt Kuhn, Max Weber, and many others.
But wherefore all this Modernism? Get a dose of the movement's earlier history with "Teresa Bernstein: An Early Modernist." Bernstein's work in the 1920s captured the hustle and bustle of New York City, from Carnegie Hall to Coney Island. She also painted jazz legends such as Louis Armstrong and Cab Calloway.
And while we're on the subject of New York City, check out the museum's final exhibit, "New York, New York." Photographs by Benn Mitchell reveal the Big Apple of the 1940s as only a photographer with a deeply artistic eye could. And that surely is Mitchell, who sold his first photograph to Life magazine at age 16 before becoming a Hollywood portrait photographer.
All the exhibits open Tuesday and go on until January 18. Call 561-392-2500. -- Dan Sweeney
Drink o' the Month
This month's Drink o' the Month comes to you from everyone's favorite kitschy Polynesian restaurant and floor show, Mai Kai (3599 N. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale). In a place with such an array of mysterious tropical drinks, it's difficult for your typical barfly to judge what passes for a good stiff cocktail. Just remember -- generally speaking, the pricier, the more alcohol. And on that note, we recommend the Barrel o' Rum. Mmmm... rum. And lots of it. Sure, the Barrel o' Rum will set you back more than $10, but just make sure to come between 5 and 7 p.m. -- the second one's free. And besides, it's actually served in a barrel -- how cool is that? Call 954-563-3272. -- Dan Sweeney
War at Home
Local author recounts a great generation
It was 1939 when author and current Boca Raton resident Stella Suberman met her husband-to-be at a Miami Beach park. A few years later, he enlisted with the Air Corps; they got married, and so begins her story. When It Was Our War follows Suberman's life as the wife of a soldier during the tumultuous years of World War II. She recounts stories of anti-Semitism, propaganda, patriotism, the struggles of keeping a family together, and her book chronicles the colorful cast of characters who drifted in and out of her life as she moved around the country with her husband. Sixty years later, Suberman looks back at the "greatest generation" from a woman's perspective and signs and discusses her book at 4 p.m. at Murder on the Beach Mystery Books, 273 Pineapple Grove Way, Delray Beach. Call 561-279-7790. -- Audra Schroeder
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OK, we understand the FTAA and NAFTA are, well, ominous. We realize that NAFTA gives corporations the right to sue governments, including our own, if those governments pass laws the corporations don't like. But must the people who protest against them be so dippy? Take Starhawk, for example. The Wiccan ecofeminist activist perhaps gained most of her fame from her popular "ecotopian" book, The Fifth Sacred Thing. The screed has cardboard characters, flimsy plot, and preachy moralism. But, hey, it sure does make the polluters of the future look evil, and those ecofriendly people sure do look nice. Whatever.
Starhawk makes an appearance at the Unitarian Universalist Church (3970 NW 21st Ave., Fort Lauderdale) at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. Donations accepted. Call 954-484-6734. -- Dan Sweeney