Art: The 200

Manhattan's huge Metropolitan Museum confronts the strong-legged visitor with almost every sort of art object, from Egyptian soup spoons to a colonial American sugar cutter. But critics have often accused the Met of being overcool to 20th Century U.S. painting. Last week the Met answered its critics by putting on exhibit 200 of the best paintings from its collection of U.S. art since 1900.

Hung in chronological order, the show went back to the 19th Century masters who had lived on beyond the turn of the century. Ranged against their contemporaries and followers of...

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