The writer of the article assumes the John Q public cares about these
things. His last sentence sums up his feelings, in that he thinks the
museums will pay the price for their decisions to "sell out". My opinion
has always been that when money exchanges hands for art, the work becomes a
"commodity" and therefore the "owners" can do whatever they want with the
work. I talk about this with my advanced students all the time and caution
them not to get too "attached" to their work if their intent is to sell it.
As for John Q public (and somehow this relates to our recent discussions on
the board on the top 10 lists of artists we would teach)they are thirsty to
see things to add to their "life List" (sort of a birdwatching analogy)i.e.
Monets, Van Goghs, Tuts, but wouldn't come out to see Kiefers or Gilbert and
Georges. Museums know this and must carefully balance their shows to attract
"once in a lifetime" patrons and charge more so that those of us who love
Italian Renaissance drawings for example, can still view them after the
museum receives funds from the "populist" shows. If you were a potter on the
craft market tour, you would charge more for mugs (per hour worked) then for
t-pots, because you would know instinctively that you would sell more mugs
than t-pots and the profit margin would be higher. Otherwise you wouldn't be
able to pay your bills in life.
From: Maggie White [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Sunday, July 17, 2005 1:10 AM
To: TeacherArtExchange Discussion Group
Subject: [teacherartexchange] "When Museums Sell Out" NY Times article
Here's an interesting article someone sent me tonight, knowing I've got
tickets to see the Tut show in LA. http://www.nytimes.com/ Scroll down
to the arts section and click on "What Price Love?" You will need to
register but it's free.