Art: Overdressing for the Occasion

The Bicentennial may or may not be recalled as a year of great achievement for U.S. museums, but it has certainly nurtured some of their endemic ills. One of these is a manic itch to overdress exhibitions. It is highly contagious, and now sweeps through the Whitney Museum, whose big Bicentennial show, "200 Years of American Sculpture," opened this month. This is a historically complex and potentially important survey, involving seven curators, 345 works of art and a catalogue as thick as a phone book. But in order to secure impact, the Philadelphia...

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