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LA Museum Has 24-Hour Exhibit

May 16, 1999

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ At 3 a.m., some yawned and rubbed their eyes to stay awake while taking in the paintings of Vincent van Gogh. Others sipped $7 martinis, while live jazz played in the background. Kids fell asleep while their parents marveled at the Impressionist masterpieces.

Many more were waiting behind them, despite the early hour, eager to take advantage of a last chance to see the exhibit of 70 paintings from the van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.

``We both work during the day,″ Brenda Arevalo said early Saturday as her husband nodded, their 5-month-old son fast asleep in a baby carrier. ``All the other shows were sold out, but this hour was well worth it.″

On the final weekend of the show that opened in January, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art became the first in the nation to open a major exhibit round-the-clock, from 9 a.m. Friday to midnight Sunday_ 63 continuous hours.

Those attending between midnight and 7 a.m. got in for half price, $10.

And not all kids had trouble staying awake.

``It was an interesting exhibit, pretty good,″ said Chris Wenell, an 11-year-old who paints. ``It’s worth coming out this late for.″

For the farewell weekend, the museum also opened Club van Gogh, an open-air terrace where night owl art lovers sampled fancy snacks, pricey drinks including $3 bottled water and music from a jazz sextet.

``I’ve been trying to get tickets forever and I’m a night person so this is perfect,″ said Shannon Ward.

Since the exhibit opened Jan. 17, an estimated 820,000 people have viewed the artwork _ about 6,800 people each day.

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