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to this country last year by the Viennese museums and the pictures in the Gulbenkian collection now being shown at the National Gallery in Washington. There was the implication that the whole past of Western art amounted to nothing but a plot-- as though European art critics and historians from Vasari to Roger Fry all belonged to a clique whose purpose was to inflate the value of Titian, Vermeer, Rubens, and the Viennese and Gulbenkian paintings left one no choice but to conclude that she was a layman, too--- yet, obviously not an innocent one. Nevertheless, an art critic needs to be equipped with something more than the determination not to be taken in.

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Miss Genauer was guilty of a lapse in her Gorky review that had nothing to do with either art or art criticism. SHe wrote: "That (her conjecture that possibly  Gorky was more seduced than seducing'), as I see it, is the great tragedy of Gorky, and a fact I find sadder than his suicide two years ago..." In other words, a man's art is more valuable than his life, and the supposed failure of his art sadder than his untimely death by suicide and all the suffering that must-- inevitably-- have preceded such a death. This is a piece of savage presumption and callousness that Gorky's relatives and friends resent, and witch, more than anything else, is the reason this letter is being sent to the Herald Tribune. If Miss Genauer cannot be taught art criticism, she can at least learn decorum.
Respectfully yours,
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