While not the exhibition for those expecting masterworks, "European Drawings" presents an opportunity for the art-historian gallery-goer to observe benchmark works in stable, classic form, while seeing rare and prescient sketches by some indisputable masters. Modern art fans will have cause to celebrate soon; the PMA has blocked off the first floor gallery for the upcoming 2011 Biennial, boasting more than 40 contemporary artists who — although working in a vastness of styles — each first had to learn to draw.

Nicholas Schroeder can be reached atnschroeder@phx.com.

"EUROPEAN DRAWINGS" |Through May 22 | at the Portland Museum of Art, 7 Congress Sq, Portland | 207.775.6148

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