Art: Indomitable Mediocrity

In eight weeks, 99,029 Britons had trooped to see the evidence — 400-odd paintings and sculptures that the Royal Academy had bought & paid for from the proceeds of the Chantrey Bequest (TIME, Jan. 10). Were they as good as the Academicians insisted? Or did they belong back in the cellars of London's Tate Gallery, from which they had been momentarily resurrected?

By last week the critics stood withTate Director John Rothenstein—hanging was too good for most of the Chantreys. With Rothenstein they agreed that over the past 70 years of Chantrey buying, the Royal Academy selection committees had picked a high...

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