Art: Magic Mountain

The Denver Art Museum staged a show last week that had more to do with anthropology than with esthetics. Entitled "Myths and Magic," it was a hodgepodge of everything from ancient Egyptian good-luck pieces and African fetishes to Solomon Island tabu sticks, Javanese puppets and Navajo sand paintings. Such things were not made merely to look at. Most of them had great visual impact, but their power was at least doubled by an understanding of the superstitions and purposes back of them.

A case in point was the handsomely carved mirror of a Bushongo sorcerer, equipped with what seemed to be a...