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GOINGS ON SANTA BARBARA : Focal Point : The film 'Show Catcher' features a collection of photographs of North American Indian life by Edward S. Curtis.


Photos taken by Edward S. Curtis, who from 1907 to 1930 documented life in numerous North American Indian tribes, are the focal point of the film "Shadow Catcher," being shown Wednesday at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History.

In the film, Curtis' photos are interspersed with footage of modern-day Indians of the same areas in the Northwest and Southwest.

This showing coincides with the museum's exhibit of "copperplate photogravures"--an old method of processing photos, giving them a yellowish tinge--taken by Curtis.

The film will be shown at 3 and 7:30 p.m. in the museum's Ferrand Hall.

Admission is $3 for adults, $1 for students.

The museum is at 2559 Puesta del Sol Road.

For information, call 682-4711.

Today's math lesson: Poodles + Crepes + Peugeots + a three-story Eiffel Tower = What?

The fourth annual French Festival at Santa Barbara's Oak Park on Saturday and Sunday.

A long list of activities--including a poodle parade, a fashion show and plenty of music and dancing--is scheduled throughout this two-day celebration of the French Bastille Day.

Admission is free.

For information, call 564-2525.

Sixteen artists from across the country will be represented at the Waterhouse Gallery's sixth annual Summer Group Show, which opens Saturday.

One of the more accomplished of those artists is An He, a native of Canton, China, now living in San Francisco, who specializes in landscapes and portraits.

Local artists involved in the show include Patricia Chidlaw, Ralph Waterhouse and James (Bud) Bottoms.

The art display will run through Aug. 31.

The gallery is at 1341 State St.

For information, call 962-8885.

Happenings at the Lobero Theatre: A scheduled Saturday appearance by the Amazing Kreskin has been canceled due to lack of interest.

The thing is, with the man's incredible mental powers, he's liable to know who bought tickets and who didn't.

Tuesday's performance by Taj Mahal and his band is still going on as scheduled.

The concert, a blend of blues, jazz and Caribbean music, will begin at 8 p.m.

Tickets are $17 and $19.

Call 963-0761.

On Saturday afternoon, Santa Barbara's Museum of Art will celebrate the grand opening of the Ridley-Tree Education Center.

The facility, a converted mansion at 1600 Santa Barbara St., will be home to art classes, lectures, films and various exhibitions.

This weekend's opening festivities will include a showing of the museum's "Working From the Masters" exhibit--a collection of 150 student paintings interpreted from the works of Vincent Van Gogh, Grandma Moses, Salvadore Dali and the like.

The public is invited from noon to 3 p.m.

Admission is free.

For information, call 963-4364.

Speaking of the Museum of Art, the newest acquisition there is an anonymously donated Chinese dragon robe from the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).

Merrily Peebles, the museum's consulting curator of textiles, said the robe dates back to the 19th Century.

The gold-wrapped silk thread in the material might indicate that it was worn by a member of the Imperial Family, she said.

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