For dashing from art shows in Venice to installations in L.A. to gallery crawls in Düsseldorf, the life of an art dealer requires a ready suitcase. Five of America's leading impresarios talk about the most happening art scenes, secret escapes, the world's smartest hangouts, and the exhibitions they can't wait to see
James Kelly Contemporary, Santa Fe, N. Mex.
hot spot The Tate Restaurant (in London's old Tate). It has completely old-fashioned service, excellent food, and you always see great artists—I recently spotted Ellsworth Kelly there.
worst art experience I sold a painting, then learned a forklift had punctured it on its way to Paris.
best Watching Alexander Calder paint a Braniff Airways jet in the late 1970's at Dallas's Love Field.
favorite hideaway Tulum, Mexico. You stay in one of the thatched beach huts at Zamas, rent a VW Bug, and drive to the Mayan ruins or into the jungle to see a million butterflies. The beaches are pulverized limestone, so they're soft and cool to the feet, and the water is a beautiful blue.
weirdest lunch Baby eels (those little eyes!) in Barcelona.
Sperone Westwater, New York, N.Y.
perfect island retreat After the Gritti Palace in Venice, I like Ho-Hum Beach, across from Bellport on Fire Island, New York. Stay at the Great South Bay Inn near the Bellport restaurant.
favorite new art space The Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art in Porto, Portugal, just expanded with a big new building by Álvaro Siza.
best-kept art secret The tombs at Bahariya Oasis (230 miles southwest of Cairo), where 2,000-year-old mummies are fully intact and lavishly decorated. The Egyptian government disclosed their existence only a few years ago.
restaurant of the minute Fressen on West 13th Street in Manhattan—yet another lure in the buzzing Meat Packing District. The food is organic and delicious.
museum show not to miss "1900: Art at the Crossroads" opens at London's Royal Academy in January, and in May at the Guggenheim in New York. It's co-curated by Robert Rosenblum, and proposes the reshuffling of modern art's history—I can't wait to see it.
Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago, Ill.
the ultimate city Venice. During the Biennale, I love to stay at the Monaco, a wonderful, unsung hotel. It's small, quiet, and convenient: if you fall off your bar stool at Harry's, you end up in the Monaco lobby.
air stunt When I travel to Europe, I wear what I'll need the next day. On the plane I immediately duck into the bathroom and change into a sweater and black tights. Before breakfast I change back and emerge feeling that I didn't sleep in my clothes—which, of course, I didn't.
always on the lookout for Snow globes—I have hundreds. My all-time biggest was made by Donald Lipsky. It's filled with game pieces.
favorite museum café The one at Amsterdam's Stedelijk Museum—not because of the food, but because of all the activity. People hang out there all day, until they head for the bars.
best way to get art home Schlep it!
Holly Solomon Gallery, New York, N.Y.
favorite painting It hangs in my living room—Warhol's portrait of me, painted in 1966.
where to be in y2k At the Nam June Paik exhibition, opening February 2000 at the Guggenheim in New York.
dream vacation Playing Scrabble on St. Bart's. I go every Christmas and summer (one of the best times to be there) and stay at the small, funky Le Tropical.
great art scene Cologne—the Ludwig has the best collection of pop art you'll ever see, and there are great galleries all over the city. The Germans take their art collecting seriously.
ideal lunch Japanese noodles at Honmura An, in SoHo, near my gallery.
most memorable hotel The Plaza Athénée in Paris, thanks to a former concierge. He tracked down a diary I'd left in a taxi, and I wasn't even a guest there!
Matthew Marks Gallery, New York, N.Y.
most vital art scene Düsseldorf—it has the world's highest concentration of artists per capita, perhaps thanks to the Kunstakademie, the art school where Joseph Beuys taught. Düsseldorf's museums have very lively openings; everybody comes out for them.
a faux pas to remember Last November a visitor started eating Nayland Blake's gingerbread-house sculpture in my gallery. He didn't even try to hide it!
don't miss The new Tate Gallery of Modern Art, opening in May 2000 in London's Bankside. It will have a huge impact on the European art world.
best off-the-beaten-track destination Marfa, Texas, where Donald Judd lived and where his foundation is now located. Seeing his sculptures in an environment of his own making is incredibly moving.
most memorable hotel Ladera, a resort in St. Lucia. I stayed in a three-walled room that felt like a deluxe tree house.
book source The best art books come from Walther König in Cologne. I've traveled to Cologne just to go to that store.
Rosamund Felsen Gallery Santa Monica, Calif.
perfect escape The Hacienda Chichén at Chichén Itzá in the Yucatán. Decades ago the archaeologists who discovered the ruins stayed here. Beautiful gardens.
greatest monument Maya Lin's Vietnam Veterans War Memorial in Washington. There's something about name after name on this cold black granite leading into the earth—its effect is powerful both emotionally and aesthetically.
ultimate art experience Walter de Maria's Lightning Field, run by the DIA Center, in Quemado, New Mexico. To see it you have to stay overnight in a cabin. You spend the day walking among stainless-steel rods that cover acres and acres. It's completely silent—until late afternoon, when the lightning starts up.