Art: The Academicians

For the 119th year, the venerable National Academy of Design put on the nation's most genteel, conventional art show. Last week in Manhattan the Academicians packed their staid galleries with 353 items classified as "Contemporary American Painting, Sculpture and Graphic Art," distributed $2,400 in prizes. As usual, portraits of pearl-bearing dowagers vied for space with well-bred views of picturesque squalor. As usual, the show was judiciously peppered with a few works by well-established modernists (Philip Ever-good, William Cropper, Stanley W. Hayter). Typical Academy prizewinner was Alicia Sundt Motts's Bouquet d'Amour, a tangle of plausible roses, lilies, pansies, baby's breath and almost...

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