The inauguration of a national museum tour of Picasso's sketchbooks, Tuesday, at the County Museum of Art, coincides with the opening of a second exhibition, "Renaissance Master Bronzes From the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna."

"Je Suis Le Cahier: Sketchbooks of Picasso," organized by New York's Pace Gallery, presents 200 drawings, watercolors and personal notations from 45 sketchbooks made between 1900 and 1965. The title of the exhibition (through Jan. 25), is drawn from a 1906 sketchbook cover on which the artist wrote: "I am the sketchbook belonging to Mr. Picasso, painter." The show provides insights into the artist's creative process and the evolution of his ideas.

"Picasso's genius glows in the sketchbooks, revealing the depth and richness of the artist's imagination. In them we see the very beginning of his artistic ideas, many of which came to fruition in some of the 20th Century's great master paintings," said LACMA director Earl A. Powell.

The 45 sketchbooks are part of 175 extant notebooks owned by Picasso's heirs. On view, among many preliminary drawings and studies, are those on the subjects of "Family of Saltimbanques," "Les Demoiselles d'Avignon," "War and Peace" and "Rape of the Sabines."

"Renaissance Master Bronzes From the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna" (through March 1) contains 75 works from one of the world's great collections of Italian and northern European bronzes.

The holdings of the museum began as the Royal Collection of the House of Austria. Most of the works were originally produced in Italy and collected over more than 400 years; in some cases their provenance can be traced back to their 16th-Century Italian makers.

Inspired partly by ancient bronzes, found in increasing numbers in Italy during the 15th and 16th centuries, the work's content is primarily secular and domestic. Favored by well-educated collectors--whether members of the nobility, clerics, merchants or humanist scholars--the bronzes were acquired for display in residences. Possession of such objects denoted the owner's familiarity with literary allusions and affinity with the world of classical antiquity.

An illustrated catalogue has text by Manfred Leithe-Jasper, head of the sculpture and decorative arts departments at the Kunsthistorisches Museum.

The Getty Center for Education in the Arts, run by the J. Paul Getty Trust, has scheduled its first invitational conference on art education, for Jan. 15-17 in Los Angeles.

"Discipline-based art education: What forms will it take?" is the theme of the meeting which will explore the integration of content and skills from four disciplines: art production, art history, art criticism and aesthetics.

Secretary of Education William Bennett, Carnegie Foundation President Ernest Boyer, National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Frank Hodsoll and author/educator Elliot Eisner will address conference participants.

Among organizations cooperating in the conference are the National Education Assn., the College Board, the National Art Education Assn. and the U.S. Conference of Mayors. Art advocates and educators, artists, education reformers, public officials and representatives of professional organizations are expected to attend.

The conference follows several years of research by the Center, which generated a report titled "Beyond Creation: The Place for Art in America's Schools" and hosted four regional round tables on critical issues raised in the report.

For a copy of the report, write to the center: 1875 Century Park East, Suite 2300, Los Angeles, 90067.

Los Angeles artists out of town: Pioneer minimalist John McCracken's work was shown recently at the Institute for Art and Urban Resources Inc., P.S. 1, in Long Island. The same show will travel to the Newport Harbor Art Museum next spring.

Carol Neiman's color Xerox work was in the International Society of Copier Artists' "Bookworks and Prints" exhibition which opened in Bologna and is traveling throughout Italy.

Patrick Nagatani and Andree Tracy showed their collaborative work in a solo exhibition in Germany at the Frankfurt Foto-Forum, sponsored by Polaroid.

Michael McMillen held a solo show, titled "The New World," at the Pat Hamilton Gallery in New York. A show of works by Karl Benjamin, Dennis Farber and Richard Wilson was hosted in Seattle and Scottsdale. Herb Elsky just concluded a show at Collier Gallery in Scottsdale.

Norman Sunshine exhibited new paintings at Roy Boyd in Chicago. John Rose is preparing a solo show for January, at Allport-Caldwell in San Francisco.

Helen Lundeberg's work is in "Elders of the Tribe," at Bernice Steinbaum Gallery in New York, through Jan. 3. Lundeberg is also participating in a comprehensive group exhibition, "In the Advent of Change: The Year of the Woman," at the Fresno Art Center, through Dec. 28.

James Hueter's work was recently shown at UC Davis.

Charles Arnoldi's work is featured in a solo exhibition at the University of Missouri, Kansas City; in conjunction with this show, the Nelson Atkins Museum is exhibiting Arnoldi's largest (10x25-foot) chain-saw painting titled "Cannibal."

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