I don’t think that anybody can walk through the stone entrance of the National Academy of Design, on Fifth Avenue at Ninetieth Street, without feeling that this is a place that time forgot. The Academy, which was founded by Samuel F. B. Morse in 1825, is august, but in a dusty way. There is an interesting exhibition program, yet it can’t quite rid a visitor of the discouraging feeling of being in a place where too damn much dull dutiful art has been shown for too many generations. I don’t think that the significant number of interesting artists who have, in recent years, become members of the Academy and worked to give it new energy and direction would disagree with this judgment. They haven’t turned their attention to the National Academy because they have some particular liking for dusty academic values. They’re here because there’s no place else to go. They’re joining up and exhibiting here because they find it to...


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