The inauguration in Washington this spring of a new facility calling itself the National Museum of Women in the Arts is an event to be regretted by everyone with a serious interest in art and a serious interest in art museums. Even in an age which has witnessed a radical and widespread devaluation of the very notion of what an art museum is, and indeed of what art is, this ill-conceived enterprise sets a new low in abandoning even the pretense of adhering to an aesthetic standard. The quality of the objects on view in the opening exhibition at this institution is, for the most part, so abysmally poor and so irredeemably trivial that they constitute a kind of libel on the artistic abilities of the class of people—namely, women—they are intended to exalt. The galleries housing these unfortunate objects are themselves, moreover, a ghastly parody of the kind of genteel taste once associated with the feeblest aspects of feminine sensibility. It...


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