When the Olympic Games first took place, in 776 B.C., the grand prize awarded the top athlete had far less bling than today's gold medal. In fact, after a few days, the prize would become rotten. Yep. Sure enough, ancient Olympians sweated their naked bodies off for a measly apple. So in 1896, when the Olympic Games were first revived, awards took the less perishable form of ribbons. Some of these early accolades, as well as a photo of the original 1896 Olympic poster, are present for today's opening of the exhibit "Ancient Olympia: A Photographic Odyssey" at the Cornell Museum of Art and History at Old School Square (51 N. Swinton Ave., Delray Beach). As Greece was competing to host the 1996 Olympics, Cornell curator Peter Yalanis and photographer Michael Lawton were there collecting images of the historical site. Their 360-degree panoramic photographs give you a discus thrower's-eye view of both ancient Olympia and modern-day Greece, including scenes from other locations throughout the country's many islands. The juxtaposition of present and past dramatically underscores how different the Olympics are today. Just try to imagine the games without all the steroids, hit men, and biased judging. The exhibit runs through September 11. Admission costs $6 for adults, $4 for seniors and students. Call 561-243-7922. --Jason Budjinski
Hardware for softies
Corporations bad, right? Well, here's a big-business love story: When John Hechinger inherited a chain of hardware stores and set up corporate headquarters, he paused to ponder the relationship among everyday tools, art, and human dignity. Rather than watch his employees fade slowly to the gray of their office cubicles, he surrounded them with modern art. The result: "Tools as Art," a touching and inspiring collection of sculpture, painting, and photography celebrating the inherent beauty of tools and their uses by modern contemporaries like Jim Dine, Walker Evans, Red Grooms, and folk artist Howard Finster, among 60 others. "Good hardware is a spur to the imagination," Hechinger says. So go feed your inner handyman. Call Coral Springs Museum of Art (2855 Coral Springs Dr., Coral Springs) at 954-340-5000. --Gail Shepherd
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