Art: All That Glitters

The old three-story house stands on the corner of Spring and Mott streets in Manhattan's fading Little Italy. Inside, the furnishings are spare—some benches and tables, a cupboard. But if the house lacks furniture, it does have marvels of decor. There is a room lined with towering cases of gilded bric-a-brac. In another room, shallow honeycombs of orange-crate cabinetry are filled with carefully posed objects—chair legs, a broken wheel, a bowling pin. parts of a table pedestal, a banister, some toilet seats—all gleaming goldly. The owner of this hammer-and-nails Fort Knox is Scavenger-Sculptress Louise Nevelson, 61.

Nevelson sculptures (they might more accurately...

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