New York Chauvinism? “Groundbreaking” Show at the Whitney Builds on Dartmouth College’s Lead

I didn’t disclose my contrarian reaction to the Whitney Museum’s Vida Americana: Mexican Muralists Remake American Art when it opened last February. But now I feel less compunction about tempering the praise lavished by art critics on this exploration of how U.S. modernists were inspired by Mexican painters. – Lee Rosenbaum

“An Act of Empathy” — a Dvořák Radio Documentary

When PostClassical Ensemble produced an hour-long film about Dvořák and “the American experience of race” last September, we hardly envisioned turning it into a 45-minute public radio special for the holidays. But that’s what happened, thanks to an invitation from Rupert Allman, who produces the nationally distributed radio magazine 1A. – Joseph Horowitz

The Erasure of the Arts

To me the most salient feature of The Upswing, the important new book co-authored by the sociologist Robert Putnam (who also wrote Bowling Alone) on the disappearance of “social capital,” is incidental: the authors completely fail to consider the arts. In fact, I have the uncomfortable feeling that The Upswing may partly be a symptom of the shortcomings it observes. And it is not alone. – Joseph Horowitz

‘Burroughs and the Dharma,’ the Real Story

James Grauerholz: “William was not a Buddhist: he never sought or found a “Teacher,” he never took Refuge, and he never undertook any Bodhisattva vows. He did not consider himself a Buddhist, nor — for that matter — did he ever declare himself a follower of any one faith or practice. But he did have an awareness of the essentials of Buddhism, and in his own way, he was affected by bodhidharma.” – Jan Herman

Frick Tricks: Reinvention to Convention, as Peripatetic Displays Move from Brutalist to Beaux Arts

While many museums are experimenting with quirky new ways of organizing their permanent-collection displays, the Frick Collection is going in the opposite direction: It will use its planned temporary occupation of the Breuer building to unveil a more conventionally coherent presentation of its holdings than was seen in its flagship building. – Lee Rosenbaum

Dancing on Stone and in Water

I’ve said it before, and forgive me if I say it again: Dancers can’t not dance. There they are on my laptop’s window — at work in their apartments, in parks, on piers, and in empty streets. Maybe partners and roommates have filmed you performing; maybe you just attached your cell phone to a music stand and shooed the cat away. Dušan Týnek’s Quarry Dance IX is nothing like that. – Deborah Jowitt