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Mar 8, 2005
This week's theme
Toponyms

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A.Word.A.Day--vernissage

Pronunciation RealAudio

vernissage (ver-nuh-SAZH) noun

A private showing or preview of an art exhibition before the public opening; also the reception celebrating the opening of an art exhibition.

[From French vernissage (varnishing), from vernis (varnish), ultimately from Berenik, the name of an ancient city in Cyrenaica in northern Africa where natural resins were first used as varnish.]

Traditionally, the day before the official opening of an art exhibition was reserved for the artist to varnish or put finishing touches to their paintings.

"On the night of the Vernissage, which must surely provide perfect art-buying conditions - lashings of bubbles and money in the same rooms - the red stickers are going up."
Michele Hewitson; Kiwi Hard-sell in Aussie Art-land; The New Zealand Herald (Auckland); Oct 10, 2004.

"Marsden, the artist, has become the art, as she swims under the water in a gold vernissage of late summer light."
For Marsden Swimming at the Quarry: Christian Science Monitor (Boston); Jul 2, 1991.

This week's theme: toponyms.

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