Art: The Proud Small Possessor

With the art market orbiting at ever higher prices, heading a small museum gets increasingly frustrating. The Denver Art Museum, for instance, has only $16,000 a year to spend on new acquisitions —a sum that would not even begin to buy a top De Kooning or an Andrew Wyeth, let alone an old master. Yet last week Denver was the proud possessor of a Rembrandt (see color), proving that all is not lost in the little league.

It was two years ago that Director Otto Karl Bach started his search for a painting that...

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