Art: Precocious Pencil

Detroit's Archives of American Art is part museum, part scrapbook and part vacuum cleaner. Since it was founded seven years ago, its staff has scoured the U.S. for material on U.S. artists, collectors, critics and dealers. On the theory that what may seem trivial today could be important tomorrow, the Archives will accept or buy just about anything. It has more than a million original and microfilmed items, among them Benjamin West's wine bills, poems written by Albert Ryder, a Lyonel Feininger sketchbook, the notes and papers of Walt Kuhn. Last week it announced an offbeat donation from Painter Jack Levine—108...

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