Save money: Spend time in a museum

It's looking as if it will be a winter of discontent, thanks to the nation's collapsing economy. Time to forget the red ink in your retirement fund and head for a museum, where maybe you'll be distracted by a lovely red-ink drawing. USA TODAY gives a preview of what's up this season.

The Ancients

Pompeii and the Roman Villa: Art and Culture Around the Bay of NaplesNational Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. Through March 22

Well, at least we don't have it as bad as these folks, buried alive by Mount Vesuvius in AD 79. But before all that, life was really good in the seaside villas of the Romans, as this exhibit, the first at the gallery to focus on ancient Roman art, shows. Talk about luxury and opulence. Information: 202-737-4215 or

Art and Empire: Treasures From Assyria in the British MuseumMuseum of Fine Arts, Boston Through Jan. 4

This is what Iraq used to be — nearly 3,000 years ago — a mighty empire, the greatest of the era. Now what's left of it mostly is in the British Museum, from whence these 250 artifacts, dating from the ninth to seventh centuries BC, come. Information: 617-267-9300 or

Tutankhamun: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs Atlanta Civic Center Nov. 15-May 25, 2009

The latest Tut exhibit, featuring the usual gold and goodies, makes it to Atlanta. Information:

The Dragon's Gift: The Sacred Arts of BhutanRubin Museum of Art, New York Through Jan. 5, 2009

A first-ever show of art from a remote country wedged between China and India, featuring 87 works, including paintings, bronzes and ritual objects from temples. Information: 212-620-5000 or

American Art

Fritz Scholder: Indian/Not IndianNational Museum of the American Indian, Washington, D.C. George Gustav Heye Center, New York Nov. 1-Aug. 16 in Washington; Nov. 1-May 17 in New York

These twin exhibits present a career retrospective of art by the late Scholder, who was part Luiseño, a California mission tribe. He grew up "not Indian" on the Northern Plains but came to be the most highly regarded painter of Native Americans in U.S. history. Information: 202-633-6986 or

American Chronicles: The Art of Norman Rockwell Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, Va. Nov. 12-Feb. 1

Ah, the good ol' days. Do we ever need those back. This show features 41 paintings plus drawings, posters and all 323 of his covers for The Saturday Evening Post, a body of work that shows how this ever-popular artist influenced the development of modern visual culture. Information: 757-664-6211 or

Andy Warhol: Pop Politics Currier Museum of Art, Manchester, N.H. Through Jan. 4

JFK, Reagan, Queen Elizabeth II, Mao Zedong and a host of others will hang together in this first-ever show of Warhol's political art in some 60 prints, paintings, drawings and photographs. Timed, of course, to Tuesday's election. Information: 603-669-6144 or

European Art

Giorgio Morandi, 1890—1964 Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York Through Dec. 14

This is a first-ever comprehensive survey here of the Italian artist, one of the greatest 20th-century masters of still-life and landscape painting in the tradition of Chardin and Cézanne, and it features some 110 paintings, watercolors, drawings and etchings. Information: 212-535-7710 or

Leonardo da Vinci: Drawings From the Biblioteca Reale in TurinCalifornia Legion of Honor, San Francisco Nov. 15-Jan. 4

Leonardo was one of the greatest draftsmen of all time, but his drawings are more rarely seen than his paintings. This show features a select group of 11 drawings plus his Codex on the Flight of Birds, all on view for the first time outside Italy. Information: 415-750-3600 or

Landscapes From the Age of Impressionism Portland (Maine) Museum of Art Through Jan. 4

More than 40 landscapes from the Brooklyn Museum of Art and by such artists as Monet, Boudin, Sargent, Hassam, Pissarro and Courbet are featured in the examination of the commonalities of style, color and light in this popular art movement. Information: 207-775-6148 or

Van Gogh and the Colors of the Night Museum of Modern Art, New York Through Jan. 5

There can never be too many van Gogh exhibits. This one, featuring 40 works, is the first ever to examine the Dutch master's frequent depictions of evening and night, and will include his celebrated Starry Night. Information: 212-708-9400 or


Artistic Luxury: Fabergé, Tiffany, LaliqueCleveland Museum of Art Through Jan. 18

What could possibly bring Princess Grace, Queen Elizabeth II and Joan Rivers together? Their jewelry. This show, featuring nearly 300 gewgaws, examines the artistry, craftsmanship and rivalry among the three titans of gilded goodies. Information: 216-421-7350 or

Bedazzled: 5,000 Years of JewelryWalters Art Museum, Baltimore Through Jan. 4

From an ancient Roman snake bracelet to a Tiffany necklace, this show presents more than 200 pieces of gold and gems through history. Information: 410-547-9000 or


Karsh 100: A Biography in ImagesMuseum of Fine Arts, Boston Through Jan. 19

Yousuf Karsh was the man who captured some of the 20th century's most famous photographic portraits as displayed in this show honoring the centenary of his birth with 100 of his iconic works. Information: 617-267-9300 or

Oceans, Rivers and Skies: Ansel Adams, Robert Adams and Alfred StieglitzNational Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. Through March 15

Three series of black-and-white landscape photographs by three great photographers are featured in this small show. Information: 202-737-4215 or


A New and Native Beauty: The Art and Craft of Greene & GreeneHuntington Library, San Marino, Calif. Through Jan. 26

Touted as the most comprehensive exhibit ever on the work of Arts and Crafts legends Greene & Greene. Information: 626-405-2100 or

The Divine Art: Four Centuries of European TapestriesArt Institute of Chicago Nov. 1-Jan. 4

Some 70 monumental tapestries go on display after 13 years of conservation work, revealing dazzling artistry. Information: 312-443-3600 or