Dallas’ King Tut exhibit draws big crowd

S.F. next on Tut’s itinerary

King Tut’s touring Texas? About 430,000 visitors bought tickets to the blockbuster “Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs” show at the Dallas Art Museum, making it the most-visited exhibition in the museum’s 100-year history. This show originated in L.A. in 2005 and set attendance records when it toured for two years before returning to the U.S in October. The show includes 50 artifacts that British archaeologist Howard Carter found in the tomb in 1922, including the golden diadem or headdress that was still around the head of Tutankhamun in his tomb. The exhibit runs through May 17; tickets range from $16.50 to $32.50. Info: (214) 922-1200; The exhibit moves to San Francisco’s DeYoung Museum on June 27.

-- Lori Grossman


In high regard

We rock! According to a new survey commissioned by Sunset magazine, people living in the West think they are better looking, wealthier, smarter, more fun, more optimistic, more creative, more independent, more environmentally conscious and more technologically savvy than other Americans. When the survey looked at all 2,000 respondents (not just Westerners), the results showed that everyone thinks Westerners have a healthy, positive outlook, a sense of confidence and adventure and enjoy great climate and scenery. Ah, we couldn’t have put it better ourselves.

-- Hugo Martin


Basket forms

California’s native Indians crafted handmade baskets that evolved from a necessity, and were used in many aspects of their lives, to a highly prized art form. The baskets, made of grasses, reeds and other natural materials found throughout the state, were made to be strong and versatile. But the designs and careful construction elevated them to “art” baskets. A new exhibition “American Masterpieces: Artistic Legacy of California Indian Basketry” at the California Museum in Sacramento showcases more than 80 baskets -- some never before displayed -- from the California State Parks collection. The exhibit continues through early 2010. Info:

-- Mary Forgione


Appeal for aid

Visiting the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in southern Poland is, for most people, unforgettable. The 400-acre facility outside Krakow opened in 1940, originally for Polish political prisoners. In 1942, Auschwitz-Birkenau became the Nazis’ biggest death camp; more than a million Jews were killed there. Now parts of the memorial and museum have fallen into disrepair, prompting Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk to issue an urgent appeal for help to leaders of the European Union, estimating that about $150 million is needed to preserve the memorial. Individuals can make contributions to preserve the memorial. Info:

-- Susan Spano


Don’t miss out

If you’re going to be stuck in an airport on St. Patrick’s Day, find out what’s on tap at airports across the country with the airport guide for beer lovers created by The guide identifies terminal numbers at specific airports so travelers can get to the on-site and bars as quickly as possible. Info:


-- Jen Leo