Montreal, that serene and congenial city, is an unlikely host for an immense exhibition dedicated to the historical origins of the urban maelstrom. Yet “The 1920s: Age of the Metropolis” has been a hit at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, where it was up all summer and continues into November.1 Both the locals and the tourists seem to enjoy going through this extended tour of Berlin, Paris, and New York in the years after World War I at the Museum of Fine Arts one can gawk at images of the cafés and cabarets of more than half a century ago, with their pig-faced sugar daddies and transvestite performers, or study the plans for multi-level glass cities that one is now quite sure nobody would ever be happy living in. And after one’s visit is...


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