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Spared From the Storm
Paintings by Sargent 1898, Picasso 1960 and Degas 1872
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Visitors to 'Spared From the Storm: Masterworks From the New Orleans Museum of Art' at Stanford may leave with mixed feelings of relief and anger: relief and gladness that the museum's staff secured the preservation of so many wonderful art objects during Hurricane Katrina, and rekindled outrage at the official heedlessness and incompetence that nearly doomed the city's population and material culture.

The Cantor Center's own recent history of earthquake damage and recovery makes it an apt venue for 'Spared From the Storm.'

To benefit the New Orleans Museum of Art's Katrina Recovery Fund, the exhibition serves up 80 notable works from its outstanding holdings in European and American art. Portraits of women happen to predominate in 'Spared.' We consider three in detail.

Spared From the Storm: Masterworks From the New Orleans Museum of Art: Paintings, sculpture and drawings. Through Oct. 5. 2008 Cantor Arts Center, Stanford University. (650) 723-4177, www.

Image and text by San Francisco, USA

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