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Fortune struck for these Syrian migrants, but can they make it in California?

William Allen

Has art's Slant Step mystery finally been solved?

Has art's Slant Step mystery finally been solved?

It has been an art-world puzzlement for nearly 50 years, but the mystery of the Slant Step appears to have been solved.

The Slant Step is an eccentric, near-mythic object in the annals of 1960s Bay Area “funk” art. A found object, it looks like something produced in junior high shop class that didn’t get a passing grade.

Constructed from a stained wood frame covered in black rubber and green linoleum, now well worn, it suggests an ordinary step stool -- the kind you might keep in the kitchen for those occasions when you need to reach all the way to the back of the uppermost cabinet.

Except for one thing: The tread on the big, blocky stool tilts downward...