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Sunday

In some other context, the title of Peter Rosen’s new documentary might be rhetorical. But Who Gets to Call It Art? has a specific answer: Henry Geldzahler, who in the 1960s became the expert on contemporary painting and sculpture at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, an institution that previously hadn’t cared for the stuff. Because Geldzahler and peers such as one-time “best friend” Andy Warhol are dead, they appear only in photographs, portraits, and archival footage. But Rosen makes lively use of an audio recording of an autobiographical Geldzahler speech as well as still images of postwar New York art. There are also recent interviews with artists and other contemporaries, including David Hockney and Frank Stella. Stella puckishly observes that Geldzahler wanted New York art to be important “so he could be important,” but he probably wouldn’t disagree with Hockney’s verdict on the curator: “He was always right.” The film shows at 4:30 p.m. at the National Gallery of Art’s East Building Auditorium, 4th Street and Constitution Avenue NW. Free. (202) 737-4215. (Mark Jenkins)

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