Art: Music Halls, Murder and Tabloid Pix

Well ahead of his time, British painter Walter Sickert took popular culture, even the mass media, as his theme

Some artists drop through the cracks, and for a long time, it looked as though Walter Richard Sickert (1860-1942) was one of them. His retrospective at London's Royal Academy of Arts, curated by Wendy Baron and Richard Shone (until mid-February, then at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam), is the first deep look at Sickert the British have had in almost 30 years. In America, he is virtually unknown. No museum has ever acknowledged him, and if you dip for his work into the big public collections, let alone the private ones, you will come up empty. Ditto in France, where...

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