Jacques-Louis David
'Hearst the Collector' at Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Snobbery and wealth, like love and marriage, don't always go together. The same holds for knowledge and money, as in "He's got more dollars than sense." At the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the complex relationships among taste, affluence and wisdom take fascinating shape in an exhibition of about 150 treasures that once belonged to William Randolph Hearst (1863-1951) and are now scattered all over the U.S. and Europe. Beautifully installed in specially built galleries, and accompanied by a refreshingly readable catalog, "Hearst the Collector" upends all sorts of clichés. It begins with a big one: Hearst's reputation as a power-mongering...