Art: Unknown Masters

To Europeans, who generally assume they have seen everything, the show was something of a revelation. "Curious paradox: the youngest among the world's great powers, the United States possesses the oldest, the most original, and just about the most authentic naive painters," admitted Paris' Figaro Littéraire with an air of astonishment. The show consisted of 111 naive American paintings from the collection of Edgar William and Bernice Chrysler Garbisch, and by the time it closed, 35,000 Frenchmen had flocked to the Grand Palais to see it. In Berlin, 15,000 poured through the Amerika...

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