In a Nutshell

It's all there — a brief history of American art, in one stunning show

Childe Hassam's Early Morning on the Avenue
Childe Hassam's Early Morning on the Avenue

Details

"Coming of Age: American Art, 1850s-1950s," on display through January 7 at the Museum of Art/Fort Lauderdale, 1 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-525-5500.

A friend who had felt much more at home among those reassuringly realistic landscapes earlier in the exhibition wondered if maybe, just maybe, I might venture a guess at what abstract art is all about. But by the time I got to Phosphorescence — as fresh and pristine as when Pollock painted it in 1947 — by the time I felt all ready to tell him that abstract art is first and foremost about its creator and its own creation, he had already moved on to the Picasso/Luna show upstairs. That's OK, I reasoned; "Coming of Age" had already given him a crash course in a century of American painting. How could I top that?

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