December 2005


To the Editors:

I came across Louis Torres's article "The National Portrait Gallery: Captive to Postmodernism" after receiving a rejection notification from the gallery for my sculpture in Egyptian limestone, Stella Nova. Thank you for it. It brought a smile to my face, and also brought home the challenge that traditional artists face. As a teacher of classical portraiture in clay, I am often amazed at the discrepancy between the enthusiasm with which my students and the public in general receive my work and the total disdain displayed by contemporary art competition jurors. I am ordering a copy of What Art Is today, and hope that it will shine some light on my bafflement.

Philippe Faraut
Honeoye, N. Y.

To the Editors:

Thanks to your item in Notes & Comments (August 2005), my wife and I drove to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art to see the delightful exhibition, Jacob van Ruisdael: Dutch Master of Landscape. We highly recommend it. (The Ruisdael exhibition will be at the Philadelphia Museum of Art through February 25, 2006.) A related adjacent exhibit of Dürer prints (which you did not cite) was also enjoyable. In addition, the Houdon sculpture of Voltaire that you highlighted in another note in the same issue ["Hero of the Enlightenment--and His Sculptor"] was nothing less than stunning. Were it not for your mention of it, we might have missed it. Before driving back home, we spent a few hours on Sunday visiting the Getty Museum for the first time. Coincidentally for visitors who enjoyed the Ruisdael paintings at LACMA, an exhibition entitled Paper Art: Collecting Drawings in Holland, 1600-1800 was on view. It was a very satisfying selection.

Tom Lauerman
Phoenix, Ariz.

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