Art: Portrait of America?

Last week Manhattan's Hyperion Press put out a $10 book for the Christmas trade which was likely to strain its readers' patriotism. It included some of the best —but many of the worst—of the most widely published pictures recently produced in the U.S. Portrait of America reproduced four Satevepost and two New Yorker covers, a spate of paintings for ads, and a few art-gallery pictures. It led off with a four-page primer on U.S. art history by Book Critic Bernard DeVoto who, being a literary man, thinks of art as illustration.

DeVoto's thesis is...

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