Art: Venus Observed

When it comes to honoring the pioneer fathers, few U.S. cities can outdo Salem (pop. 43,140), capital of Oregon. A brawny woodsman stands atop the capitol dome; pioneers flank the capitol entrance, a circuit rider sits astride a horse on the capitol grounds, and more pioneers stare bold-eyed from murals on the rotunda walls. Three weeks ago the city got a chance to put up still another tribute to its past, but this time it was a figure that looked strikingly different from the hardy frontiersmen. The statue: a hippy bronze nude by France's great Pierre Auguste Renoir.

The statue was to...

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