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Art for the Ozarks

As a Wal-Mart heiress buys up American masterpieces for her Bentonville art museum, New York and Philadelphia claim that some paintings are off limits. Are these cities protecting their cultural heritage -- or just being snobs?

“The Gross Clinic,” by Thomas Eakins, hanging in a gallery at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. The painting depicts a lecture and demonstration by noted 19th-century surgeon Dr. Samuel D. Gross.
By Daniel Brook
January 7, 2007

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THOMAS EAKINS'S MASTERPIECE, "The Gross Clinic," is housed in a locked gallery bearing the sign: "To arrange entry see security at front counter." Having notified the security desk at Thomas Jefferson University, the Philadelphia medical school whose alumni bought the painting in 1878 for $200, I was escorted into the Eakins Gallery by a silent, suited attendant. Eakins's depiction of ... (Full article: 1735 words)

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