Art: Amateur Week

Greatest amateur painter who ever lived, a retired French customs inspector named Henri Rousseau, had his biggest U.S. exhibition ever, at the Chicago Art Institute last fortnight. In Manhattan, 30 men & women who painted for fun in their spare time will have their works elaborately hung this week at the Marie Harriman Gallery. A connoisseur of amateur painting named Sidney Janis has written a solemn 236-page book about them.* All these amateurs had one thing in common: they had learned painting the hard way, by laboriously teaching themselves.

Rousseau, pioneer of modern amateurs,...