The Master of Catherine of Cleves, "Mouth of Hell" from the Hours of Catherine of Cleves (c. 1440), courtesy The Morgan Museum & Library

Given the emphasis on performance and conceptual work in New York museums last season, not to mention the frenzy generated by the overlapping of the Whitney Biennial with the official and unofficial contemporary art elements of the recent art fairs, it’s easy to assume that, these days, only new-minted “cultural production” commands attention in this city. Yet art made...


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