ON THE walls of Colorado Springs' Fine Arts Center this week are 58 contemporary American canvases purchased by 47 U.S. museums in the past two years. In one glance visitors could learn what sort of painting most appeals to today's museum directors. The exhibition includes sprinklings of realists and romantics, looking as out of place as women in a poker game. But in total, the show is predominantly abstract.

Explaining their taste, the directors who bought the canvases reproduced on the next two pages threw a good deal of light on the abstractionist trend in acquisitions. The directors' cases:

¶Heart of Norway Spruce,...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!