Art in the Heartland, Traditional and Idiosyncratic

A Sunday on La Grande Jatte — 1884 (1884/86) by Georges Seurat (Courtesy of the Art Institute of Chicago)
It’s worth leaving the Acela corridor to see museums in Chicago and Indianapolis, but skip the light show in the park.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE A merica has a vibrant and richly varied visual-arts scene. While New York is without doubt the art world’s capital, it does not drive American museum culture. Paris, for instance, dominates the French museum system, if for no other reason than the fact that almost all museums in France are owned by the central government. Most European museums are government-owned, which means they’re sodden with bureaucracy.

Many museums in America beyond the Acela corridor are strong in regional art, but wealth in this country is broadly distributed, so dozens have internationally famous collections built by smart local people. Americans often look at

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