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Besides, art appreciation, or whatever you want to call it, has a lot to
do with you personal feelings, aesthetics. Isn't the goal of what we are
teaching in art criticism the tools to make judgements ourselves ( or at
least this is what "I" think the goal should be!
Kathrine Walker, Educ. Coord, Beach Museum of Art
On Tue, 16 Jul 1996, Vance McSwain wrote:
> Recently I was attending a seminar at TCU preparing me to teach the College Board's Advanced Placement courses in studio art. I spent three days learning to evaluate student portfolios and I saw hundreds of examples of gifted and talented students' work.
> Then, the class visited the Museum of Modern Art in Fort Worth and saw an exhibit by a living painter named Sir Howard Hodgkin. The museum thought highly of his work and considered him an "important painter". His work is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars per painting. The other art teachers and I were standing in amazement while we looked at these paintings as the docent explained why these were masterpieces. No one said anything, but suddenly I realized I considered these paintings horrible and from what I had been learning the previous three days, would not get a high school senior a top scholarship or get him a rating high enough to get the college credit he was seeking by taking the Advanced Placement Course at his or her high school.
> These paintings were clearly an example of the Emperor's new cloths. In other words, a respected collector or museum simply declared this painter important. None of the top collectors or museums will dare question the quality of the paintings because they all have praised many of the same artists and it would bring all of their opinions into question.
> This one event has forever changed my point of view and because of it, I have begun to investigate the contemporary art market for the upper tier painters.
> I know what I am saying is controversial, but I am simply no longer content to blindly accept the opinions of noted collectors and museums as to what Is an important work of art and why. I believe there is too much room for vested interests and greed on the part of those who are basically "setting the standards of taste" for an entire art form.
> What do you think?,
> Vance McSwain