Collections: Laying in the Vintage

Under the direction of former Yale Ornithologist Dillon Ripley, 52, Washington's fusty Smithsonian Institution has been spreading its wings of late. Its most staggering nest egg, donated last May, is Joseph Hirshhorn's $25 million collection of painting and sculpture, which is destined for its own building on the Capitol mall but will be administered by the Smithsonian. Last week the Smithsonian received a second bonanza: 102 paintings assembled for S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc., four years ago. Under the title "Art: USA," they traveled 70,000 miles through 14 countries on three continents to become the most widely viewed American exhibition...

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