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PRINT January 1965

Man: Glory, Jest & Riddle, Part III

TO THE SAN FRANCISCO MUSEUM, proclaimed keeper of the traditions of contemporary art for northern California fell the task of surveying “the use of the human form” in 20th-century art. Mr. George Culler, in another display of the kind of thinking that has made his entire tenure as Director of the Museum a downhill toboggan ride from the reasonable heights to which Dr. Grace Morley, his predecessor, had raised it, evidently decided that his job was simple enough: all he had to do was keep out the abstrac­tions and collect as many paintings with people in them as he could.

The San Francisco Museum exhibition displays no evidence that anyone connected with the show had sat down to give serious thought to the ques­tion: is there, indeed, a history of contemporary use of the figure which is meaningful within the tradition of the major concerns of modern art? And if there is, what works of art,

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