Review overlooked Hartigan's key role in modern painting
Sun art critic Glenn McNatt did an excellent job reviewing the Whitney Museum's fascinating exhibition, "The American Century, Part II" ("America's Art Century," Oct. 12). However, his failure to note that work by Baltimore artist Grace Hartigan is prominent in the exhibition's review of Abstract Expressionism was an important omission.
Ms. Hartigan, who has directed the Maryland Institute, College of Art's Hoffberger School of Painting since 1965, has been influential in late 20th-century painting and continues to make important contributions to contemporary art.
Her work is in the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum and many others collections.
In the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, several of Ms. Hartigan's paintings are featured in the current exhibition, "In Memory of My Feelings: Frank O'Hara and American Art," alongside work by Willem de Kooning, Robert Motherwell, Alice Neel, Claes Oldenburg, Jackson Pollock and others.
I applaud The Sun for keeping the public informed of arts events and providing insightful articles that help readers understand the historical context of works of art, as well as current controversies and emerging trends in the visual arts.
This helps remind us that our city is at the heart of one of the world's most active and energetic arts corridors.
But Baltimore is not a mere observer in this active arts scene. Our city is home to some of the most interesting, productive and influential artists, curators, museums and galleries in the nation.
Fred Lazarus IV, Baltimore
The writer is president of the Maryland Institute, College of Art.
State is opening doors for disabled artists
Thanks to The Sun for a thoughtful article about dancer Bran Pace, whose promising career was interrupted by a tragic act of violence that left him paralyzed from the chest down ("A saving grace," Oct. 4).
Mr. Pace, no stranger to hard work and motivation, is meeting his physical challenges with amazing grace and determination. He and his mentor and dance teacher, Emily Adams, can serve as an inspiration for us all.
As chairperson for the "A Celebration of the Arts in Maryland" initiative and honorary chair of the governor's Advisory Committee on Careers in the Arts for People with Disabilities, I hope artists such as Mr. Pace know Maryland is working to meet the needs of people with disabilities.
In fact, it is the first state in the nation to launch a full-scale effort to ensure individuals with disabilities can pursue or maintain careers in the arts.
The advisory committee is also addressing barriers and exploring exciting opportunities for the disabled, which will be unveiled at a statewide forum next year.
These efforts will give every Marylander equal access to careers in the literary, visual or performing arts.
Frances Hughes Glendening, Annapolis
The writer is Maryland's first lady.
One needn't go to N.Y. to know exhibit is gross
It seems that Glenn McNatt and The Sun are on a crusade to force everyone to support the Brooklyn Museum of Art's exhibition, "Sensation: Young British Artists from the Saatchi Collection" ("It's easy to denounce works if you don't bother to see them," Oct. 19).
The article suggests that, by disagreeing with Mr. McNatt and not wanting to see an exhibit featuring the Virgin Mary accented with elephant dung and cut-outs of women's private parts, I am "distrustful and intolerant," "malicious or deluded" and a "demagogue."
From reading reviews and seeing pictures and TV stories about this exhibition, I can conclude that it is gross (featuring chopped-up animals in formaldehyde) and glorifies a child killer and pedophilia.
I don't have to visit the exhibition to participate in serious debate regarding public finding of the arts, just as I don't have to see Hustler magazine or X-rated movies to know they denigrate women.
Mr. McNatt's idea of "serious debate" apparently involves name-calling; he even dismissed fellow critics who disagree with him as "absurdly provincial."
Isn't art in the eye of the beholder, open to interpretation and discussion?
Christopher J. Sikora, Ellicott City
Web site's photos are an inspiration
Thanks to The Sun for making available on the Internet so many stunning photographs of Maryland.
I am inspired by the natural beauty they capture so powerfully, as well as by the range of human experience these wonderful images depict.
I hope The Sun will make an extra effort to promote its Web site and direct readers' attention to the "A Century in the Sun" section.
Walter Levy, Pikesville
It's time to defend our local police force
With so much criticism being directed to of local police departments, I think it is high time more people came to their defense.
Having worked for years as a civilian administrator for the Baltimore County Police Department's Field Operations Bureau, I can attest to the dedication of the officers and their commanders.
When an officer violates the department's rules and regulations, he or she is brought before the Internal Affairs Division, where guilt or innocence is determined. If found guilty, the officer is punished accordingly.
There is too much Monday-morning quarterbacking from outsiders who have little knowledge of police operations going on -- too much emphasis on racism and police intimidation.
I think the police do a fantastic job. What would we do without them?
Elizabeth Myers, Baltimore
Marylanders succumb to 'Clinton fatigue'
A more appropriate and honest headline for The Sun's article "Democratic fund-raising lunch canceled for lack of big donors" (Oct. 21) might have been "Clinton fatigue hits Baltimore."
Most of the country has been fed up with President Clinton for some time, so it should come as no surprise that Maryland is finally sick and tired of this disgraced and discredited man.
If the fund-raiser is to be rescheduled, may I suggest that the Democratic National Committee find a more appropriate venue in Maryland for Mr. Clinton and his cronies -- such as a good Chinese restaurant or, perhaps, Hooters restaurant.
Timothy Ratajczak, Baltimore
A new phrase, "Clinton fatigue," has been introduced into our political vocabulary. Polls show that most citizens are weary of the Clinton administration.
Are they weary of seeking new and larger homes that they can now afford?
Are they weary of working steadily and earning larger paychecks?
Are they weary of hearing Mr. Clinton demand an increased minimum wage?
Are they weary of hearing Mr. Clinton demand that prescription drug coverage must be part of Medicare?
Are they weary of hearing Mr. Clinton demand sensible and stricter gun laws?
Are they weary of hearing Mr. Clinton demand that citizens under managed care be able to sue insurance companies?
Are those citizens really weary of Mr. Clinton -- or so arrogant in their new prosperity that they believe they no longer require the man in the White House whose bold and caring leadership led them to self-sufficiency?
Leon Peace Ried, Baltimore