“Egon Schiele: The Ronald S. Lauder and Serge Sabarsky Collections,” an exhibition on view at the Neue Galerie, will be one of the most popular events of the 2005–2006 art season.[1] Visitors to the newest addition to the Upper East Side’s Museum Mile—the Neue Galerie, dedicated exclusively to Germanic art—will enter its door after having patiently stood in line. A significant number of young patrons will visit the Neue Galerie for the first time, eager to acquaint themselves with the angst-ridden art of the Austrian Modernist. The museum’s overview of Schiele’s art will, in fact, be the most heavily trafficked exhibition in its short history and, in all likelihood, for the foreseeable future.

The statements above, in other words, aren’t feats of clairvoyance. They are the received wisdom—that is, for anyone with even the barest...


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