Magazine November 12, 2018, Issue

Committee Art

The Apotheosis of Washington, by Constantino Brumidi, on the ceiling of the U.S. Capitol rotunda (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call)
Art from the Swamp: How Washington Bureaucrats Squander Millions on Awful Art, by Bruce Cole (Encounter, 152 pp., $23.99)

For those who oppose government arts funding, Bruce Cole’s new book has some bad news. The train left the station long ago: around 1783. That’s when the Confederation Congress commissioned an equestrian statue of George Wash­ington. It was never created, but it established the tortuous practice of federal patronage of the arts. Over the years, the federal government has spent billions on art, ranging from the iconic Capitol Rotunda paintings to the gorgeous survey photographs of the American West taken beginning in the 1850s to about 225,000 objects commissioned by the WPA during the Great Depression to everything funded by the National

In This Issue



Education Section

Books, Arts & Manners


Music Too

Robert Dean Lurie reviews Anything for a Hit: An A&R Woman’s Story of Surviving the Music Industry, by Dorothy Carvello.




“I try to learn the prose of life, but my slavish reproduction of its speech is wooden…”


The Latest

Rat Patrol

Rat Patrol

Illegal leaks of classified information should be treated as a serious offense. But they would be easier to prevent if less information were classified.