Lance Esplund, our author, was none too happy about the relocation of the Barnes Foundation from the outskirts of Philadelphia, in Merion, to downtown:
“An art historian who has not been to the Barnes told me that she had heard the installation was “a distraction from the art.” These are the types of arts professionals—the philistines and academics—whom Barnes wanted to keep out of his museum.”
Esplund thinks much has been lost, and too little gained in the move:
“Barnes gave life to a unique institution, and its present-day stewards should be obligated to follow the ethical oath of others (medical doctors and art conservators among them) entrusted with the care of the living: First, do no harm. The relocation of the Barnes is disguised as altruism, but it is fueled solely by ignorance and avarice”
From Philly.com, more on the new museum. Roberta Smith at The NY Times says the new museum doesn’t do a bad job. I’m inclined to think it’s a way for Philadelphia to bring in revenue, and try and ‘revitalize’ downtown.
Jed Perl at the New Republic agrees with Esplund, too much lost and very little gained.
The end of the ‘greatness’ model?: From NPR: Grants To The NEA To Stimulate The Economy?…From 2 Blowhards-We Need The Arts: A Sob Story
A museum industrial complex…more complexes…who are the people museums should be serving? James Panero At The New Criterion: ‘Time to Free NY’s Museums: The Met Responds’
Also On This Site: How might Nietzsche figure in the discussion (was he most after freeing art from a few thousand years of Christianity, monarchy and aristocracy…something deeper?), at least with regard to Camille Paglia. See the comments: Repost-Camille Paglia At Arion: Why Break, Blow, Burn Was Successful…