The Baltimore Sun

Andrew Wyeth will rank among great realists

Thank you for the fair and balanced article on the late painter Andrew Wyeth ("Painter Andrew Wyeth dies at 91 in Pa. home," Jan. 17).

Great art is often polarizing, and this can certainly be said of Mr. Wyeth's work. But as a professional artist, I can say that his paintings have had a profound effect on my work since my father took me to see his one-man exhibition at the Baltimore Museum of Art in 1966.

When I was a student at the Maryland Institute College of Art in the early 1970s, I was belittled in front of the class by a drawing teacher because I said Mr. Wyeth was a great painter. I didn't care, because I believed then, as I do now, that his work stands tall alongside that of the other great American realists: Winslow Homer, Edward Hopper and Thomas Eakins.

I am so proud to have lived in his time.

George Goebel, Catonsville

Critics of Israel dance to tune set by Hamas

Those who are so critical of Israel's retaliation for the constant attacks to which it has been subjected should realize that they are dancing to the tune Hamas is playing ("Hamas acts to reassert control in Gaza," Jan. 20).

Hamas' tactics should be transparent to everyone who cares to look.

Step one is to goad Israel into action by constantly rocketing Israel from Gaza or kidnapping an Israeli soldier. Step two is that since Hamas does not care at all about Palestinian citizens, it hides its leaders among them and stores munitions in mosques, hospitals, schools, etc. Step three is to express outrage that the Israelis then bomb the innocent women and children Hamas itself has put in harm's way.

Sadly, there are many who fall for this cynical course of action, some of whom are predisposed to believe ill of Israel to begin with.

When the day comes that the rocketing stops, Hamas disavows its aim of destroying Israel and the Palestinians are willing to live side by side in peace, there will be no more bloodshed.

Sig Seidenman, Owings Mills

Maxims about ends may also end badly

I found Ron Smith's maxim "All things end badly" amusing ("A gloomy ending and a hopeful beginning in D.C.," Commentary, Jan. 21).

I must point this out to Mr. Smith, however: All generalizations are false.

Thomas G. Pinter, Lutherville

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