A somewhat unusual exhibition from the Smithsonian began touring the United States this fall. It doesn't feature the works of sculptors or painters, but rather ''Urban Open Spaces.''
This collection of photographs focuses on the distinctive spaces between buildings that help create an urban environment. Produced and circulated by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, the photographs are showing at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville through Dec. 13.
From the Tuileries in Paris to a shopping center in Houston, Texas, the importance of urban environments to life in the city are shown.
These photographs should also help pinpoint why some public spaces attract crowds of pedestrians while others remain empty; why some open city spaces are inviting and others contain an implicit message to leave; and also, the elements that compose a successful open-space design.
The exhibition also will be circulated to McMillan Memorial Library, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., Washington University School of Architecture, St. Louis, and 20 additional locations through Nov. 1984.