Art: Oasis in Manhattan

When the summer sun blisters the Manhattan pavement and the rasp of traffic noise mounts to unbearable decibels, one of the most inviting oases—better even than an air-conditioned movie—is the Sculpture Garden of the Museum of Modern Art. There, only two blocks north of towering Rockefeller Center, the visitor may walk in peace amidst birches, hornbeams and willows, linger by cool reflecting pools, or sit on convenient benches, looking at sculpture.

Since last April, when the garden opened, its sculpture has been well worth looking at. Maillol's recumbent nude, The River, lies with her...

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