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Alan Wallach is the nastiest art-historical scrapper I’ve ever seen. At 1994’s Thomas Cole symposium, he tore into the Washington Post’s Paul Richard with a rhetorical two-by-four. In short order, Wallach had the Detlev Spinell of D.C. art criticism admitting that, while he could read books and did know how to use a library (Wallach is Ralph H. Wark Professor of Art and Art History at the College of William and Mary, understand, so these are sore spots for him), he sadly found little time for either. What was truly lovely about all this was that none of Wallach’s censure was unwarranted. Richard had made the error, a typical pitfall for journalistic critics, of mistaking the unlively for the incorrect. Presumably, Dr. Wallach will be better behaved when he discusses “Art Collecting and Ambition: William Wilson Corcoran’s Gallery”—but one never knows. At 1 p.m. at George Washington University’s Lisner Auditorium, Dimock Gallery, 730 21st St. NW. FREE. For reservations call (202) 994-1525. CP