Radio City Music Hall contains indisputable pieces of art, such as Stuart Davis' mural in the men's room, For Men Only, but recently the building itself has been raised to the status of art. The highly elaborate interior design has been recognized and is being cherished on its own terms. At present its standing is that of a putative monument threatened by divisive miniaturization. There is a plan to insert an art theatre (or theatres?) within the protracted threshold that winds between street and auditorium. There is plenty of space, but to make the change would destroy one of leisure architecture's fanciest transition zones between the life outside and the spectacle in the dark inside.
In addition to its aesthetic rehabilitation, the Music Hall has become the subject matter of art. Roy Lichtenstein's "Modern Paintings," which he began in 1966, take 1930s' design motifs, from such places as cinema foyers, ocean-liner ballrooms, cocktail lounges, and maybe a few magically preserved diners. Whether or not he used the Music Hall specifically, his choice of period forms as the subject matter of paintings and sculptures shifted his use of "a discredited area" of taste (the artist's phrase) from the quotation of comic books to the evocation of a period style. When he started there was no generally agreed-on term for the style, but by the end of the 1960s usage had settled on Art Deco.
Last month [April, 1972] at the Sonnabend Gallery there was an exhibition by Brigid Polk entitled "Radio City Music Hall." She presented a slide show that stayed away from architecture and films and focused on the Rockettes. She used two slide projectors to throw images of the stage show on the wall of the gallery. The slides were taken from out front: some were detailed, some blurred images of pre‐ Crazy Horse stately chorus girls; some photographs were about the dazzle of light, others about its shortage. A tape of thunderous tapdancing accompanied the successive dissolving images.____________________