The exhibition of 107 Islamic art objects from the Kuwait National Museum will open at the Walters Art Gallery in Baltimore on Dec. 9 as scheduled. Since the invasion of Kuwait, there was some concern about the status of the planned American exhibitions of the pan-Islamic treasures, which are owned by Sheikha Hussah Sabah, daughter of a former emir, and her husband, Sheik Nassar Sabah, son of the Kuwaiti foreign minister. At the time of the invasion, the 9th- through 17th-century artworks were on view at the Hermitage Museum in Leningrad.

Ann Van Devanter Townsend, president of the Trust for Museum Exhibitions, which is circulating the show, said the Dar Athar Islamiyyah collection is scheduled to go on to Richmond, Fort Worth, St. Louis, Atlanta and Paris. The show consists of jewelry, ceramics, rugs and gilded manuscripts, all selected by Sackler and Freer galleries curator Esin Atil from the thousands of art objects in what is considered the most important privately owned collection in the Middle East. There is concern about the remainder of the collection, still in Kuwait. Out and About Happy to find any opportunity to boast about underwriting something popular and uncontroversial, the National Endowment for the Humanities is quick to point out it is a major underwriter of the hit PBS series "The Civil War." Hearing that video stores were having a run on blank tapes to record the widely viewed documentary miniseries, an NEH spokesman called Erol's corporate headquarters in Springfield to learn that it was indeed true, there was a run on blank videotapes Sunday. Rosemary Prillamar, manager of Erol's video accessory department, said yesterday that Sunday sales in the 140 Washington-Baltimore outlets showed an increase of 40 percent over a year ago. And, she added, customers were telling Erol's employees they were buying the tapes to record the series ... ...

Some of the nation's best known and respected writers will be in town Monday for the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction Gala at the Folger Shakespeare Library. The theme of the gala is "A Sense of Place," with each of the visiting authors using it for readings in the Folger's Elizabethan Theatre. The day's activities include a tour of the Senate, lunch with members of Congress in the LBJ Room, sitting in on an argument at the Supreme Court and a meeting with some of the justices. Among the writers expected are Blanche Boyd, Ellen Douglas, Marita Golden, Ken Kesey, Larry L. King, Jerzy Kosinski, Norman Mailer, Paule Marshall, Bobbie Ann Mason, Peter Matthiessen, Jay McInerney, William W. Warner, Eudora Welty, John Edgar Wideman, Geoffrey Wolff and historian Shelby Foote, who is rapidly becoming a well-known national face through his commentary on the "Civil War" series ...

It was a great publicity gimmick for the Dark Side, a new British science fiction and horror magazine, which asked readers what would be the most frightening experience: to be locked in a cellar with "Nightmare on Elm Street" psychopath Freddy Krueger or to be marooned on a desert island with Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. You guessed it, one out of three men would rather be locked up with Freddy than on a lonely island with Iron Lady Thatcher. No surprise there ...