Painting: Down from the Attic

Two of the all-but-forgotten names of American art are William Sidney Mount and Richard Caton Woodville. Both were Easterners—Mount from Long Island, Woodville from Baltimore —both enjoyed a measure of fame for their lusty colloquial vignettes of the U.S. in the mid-1800s, and both have been largely ignored in the century since. Now, as art historians rummage around to reconstruct the country's long-neglected artistic heritage, the two are getting a new and appreciative audience (see color page).

This spring Washington's Corcoran Gallery put on the first exhibition of Woodville's work to appear...

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