Monday, August 17, 2009
One does wonder sometimes. Take a look at this page from the NYT website about the present director of the Toledo Museum becoming the new director of Alice Walton's new museum of American art that is under construction in Bentonville, AK. Ms. Walton, it will be recalled, bought the famous Asher B. Durand painting "Kindred Spirits" from the New York Public Library in a transaction decried by this writer among others (Kimmelman as usual waited until the barn door was closed, locked and horse in the next county before raising a tentative admonitory finger). You can read all about it here. I hate the word "iconic," but if there is one painting that deserves the appelation in a New York context, it was this. The gilded board of NYPL, which could have passed the hat with no meaningful effect on its collective or individual net worth and kept the painting in the city, sat on its hands. What amuses me about the NYT's account of the new appointment is that it lists a number of the great American artists whose work Ms.Walton has acquired, and prints links references to each in its archive, but somehow skips a link to Durand. I seem to recall that that GREAT newspaperman, Arthur Sulzberger the whatever aka "Pinch" is on the NYPL board. The way society protects its own validates Michael Gross's charge that his interesting study of the people who've run the Met's boardroom, Rogue's Gallery, has been embargoed. All I can do is reiterate my late father's definition of "the upper crust": a bunch of crumbs held together by dough.