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Thread: New art museum

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    New art museum

    The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art opened last Thursday. And yes, it is in Arkansas. Anyone traveling to or through the northwest part of our state might enjoy a visit. I haven't been able to go yet but hope to before the end of the year.

    http://crystalbridges.org/

    While I'm at it, I'll brag on a hometown man who has made a name for himself in the art world. I believe at least one of his works is on permanent display in the new museum. His name is George Dombek.

    http://www.georgedombek.com/index.html

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    I saw a news bit about it and they've got some amazing pieces there. Quite controversial in the art world though.
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    What makes it controversial? Do you have a link discussing it?
    "Half the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important. They don't mean to do harm -- but the harm does not interest them. Or they do not see it, or they justify it because they are absorbed in the endless struggle to think well of themselves." – T.S. Eliot

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    Quote Originally Posted by mpal2 View Post
    What makes it controversial? Do you have a link discussing it?
    Because of the amount of money she's spent in a relatively short period of time in order to build the collection.

    http://www.npr.org/2011/11/12/142270...h-price-on-art
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    Thanks. It was an interesting read.

    Ethical guidelines in the museum field say you should only sell a work of art in order to buy more art. But those rules don't necessarily apply to libraries and schools that happen to own valuable art works.
    Is this better in the long run though because these works of art now fall under the ethical guidelines for museums?
    "Half the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important. They don't mean to do harm -- but the harm does not interest them. Or they do not see it, or they justify it because they are absorbed in the endless struggle to think well of themselves." – T.S. Eliot

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    I can't see that Alice Walton's choice to spend a ton of money to open what looks to be a great museum of American art in a high poverty area of the country with minimal fine art collections is anything but good. How much better that fine artworks are made available for free public viewing at a museum than locked away in someone's private collection?

    She didn't force anybody to sell anything they didn't want to sell.

    I'm hoping to visit the new museum one of these days.

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    When I was in college, I worked for an inner city non-profit for children & teens. Most of the kids lived within a few blocks of the art museum & didn't know they were allowed to go there until we took them. The museum spent quite a bit of time promoting their programs to children of cultured residents of wealthier neighborhoods, but little to none for the underprivileged children in their own neighborhood.

    So I'll take a wait & see approach to assess whether this museum actually promotes outreach to the impoverished residents of their area, or simply wants to use it as another marketing strategy.

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    Given the Walton family's involvement in education, culture, and civic improvement in the Northwest Arkansas area, I'd be shocked if they didn't. They do a tremendous amount locally; service to that area is one of their key funding areas even though not too many of them live there any longer.

    (Though I heard years ago that out here, the Zoo has had a hard time getting African-American families to visit even on the frequent free days. You're allowed to bring in a picnic lunch, parking is free, but they were still challenged to reach out to that audience. Back then, something like 90% of the African American children visiting with school groups had never been to the zoo with their families. Outreach can be a challenge.)
    Last edited by barbk; 11-17-2011 at 08:35 PM.

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    at the complaints in the NPR story about Alice Walton's spending spree destabilizing the art market.

    The art market has never been stable. And most recently, people with $$$$ from hedge funds, and other people with huge $$$ (e.g. Russian oil billionaires) were and are buying art at insane prices, just so they can own a bigger or more expensive work than their friends do. They generally don't care about the art - they care about showing off that they have the $$$ to buy expensive things. How is that any less damaging to the art market than what Alice Walton is doing?
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    Review in the NY Times today:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/27/ar...nted=2&_r=1&hp

    "Crystal Bridges is user friendly in ways big and small. Admission is free, and it has an ambitious education program that will, among other things, reach out to more than 80,000 elementary school students in the area. And in some of the interstices between its pavilions — where one might have been grimly prepared to see museum gift shops — it has areas outfitted with comfortable chairs and couches and stocked with stacks of art books for browsing.

    These elements, like the museum they are part of, convey the belief that art, like music and literature, is not a recreational luxury or the purview of the rich. Rather, it is an essential tool for living to which everyone must have access, because it helps awaken and direct the individual talent whose development is essential to society, especially a democratic one. Art, after all, is one of the places where the pursuit of happiness gains focus and purpose and starts expanding outward, to aid and abet that thing called the greater good."

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    Oliver has been talking about wanting to go there. I actually took a look at some of their collections and I was pretty impressed. I love the Warhol painting of Dolly Parton and Nick Cave's "Soundsuit." I was also taken by Walton Ford's "The Island," which I hadn't seen before. We're planning to take Abe on a road trip cross country this summer, so I think we'll make a stop at this museum.
    Logic is in the eye of the logician --Gloria Steinem

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