Art: The Show's the Thing

It was the sort of thing that could only happen in an America suddenly hooked on art: one day last week the Mona Lisa passed Whistler's Mother on the New Jersey Turnpike.

Mona was wending her enigmatic way from Washington, via air-conditioned van, to Manhattan, where she went on view for 3½ weeks at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Despite rain, slush and bone-cracking cold, a crowd of 23,872 queued up in three-block-long lines on the first day to make frostbitten obeisance before the lady with the greenish face in her bulletproof, heat-and-humidity-controlled shrine....

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