Museums: Pell-Mell on Pall Mall

For 20 years, the most modern museum in London has been a scruffy, nondescript gallery in a walkup off Piccadilly. Nonetheless, from its attic offices the Institute of Contemporary Arts has launched most of the exhibitions and manifestoes that have made Britain once again a force to be reckoned with in the arts. Leader of the small founding group was Sir Roland Penrose, now 67, a minor surrealist painter in his own right and longtime friend of Critic Sir Herbert Read and Sculptor Henry Moore. Under Penrose, ICA pioneered in giving major...