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Posted at 11:24 AM ET, 02/ 7/2006

Getting a Date with the Man from Provence

By Julia Beizer

There's something about those French painters.

Last year, an exhibition of more than 200 paintings by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec drew record crowds to the National Gallery. This year, an exhibition of Paul Cezanne's work is creating just as much buzz.

"Cezanne in Provence," organized in honor of the 100th anniversary of the artist's death, follows the course of the painter's career. The bulk of the exhibition is made up of the wild landscapes Cezanne is best known for, but there's also a few early portraits and watercolor studies in the collection of 117 works. The brightly painted canvasses are definitely worth the trip -- if you can get in the door.

I went to see the exhibit on a recent weekday morning, right at 10 a.m. when the museum opens. Twenty-five other people had the same idea, but it was far from packed. Museum staff tell me that the exhibit is least crowded on Mondays and Tuesdays, but since weekday museum visits aren't easy for most workin' folks, here are some tips for getting in on a weekend:

-- Come late. The crowds on the mall are always thick, but many museum-goers tire out by the afternoon.
-- If you opt against getting an audio guide, steer clear of the audio guide paintings. Crowds of headphoned visitors flock to these so it's often difficult to get a clear look.
-- Wait it out. The buzz over this exhibition is sure to fade out sometime between now and its May 7 closing date. Perhaps by the time the Dada show opens in the East Building on Feb. 19, the West building's popularity will be a distant memory.

Got any tips for would-be museum goers? Let us hear 'em below. Been to the exhibit? Write a review for other City Guide users.

--Julia

By Julia Beizer  | February 7, 2006; 11:24 AM ET
Categories:  Museums  
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Comments

I checked out the exhibit this past weekend and loved it. Cezzane's work is truly amazing. We were fairly lucky and beat the crowd because by the time we got out, the line was past the rotunda.

Posted by: Cha_charoni | February 7, 2006 2:19 PM | Report abuse

The line only gets longer as the day progresses. Even with bad weather on Saturday, the line was ridiculous. Bad advice.

Posted by: umm | February 13, 2006 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Great consignment store in Vienna, VA "The Consignment Boutique" on Church Street.

Posted by: AMY | February 24, 2006 7:26 AM | Report abuse

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