Art and Commerce #2

Notoriety suits this museum.  It was as crowded as I’ve ever seen it.  Still friendly to explore but you were not alone with the Picasso, the Kandinskys, the Warhol.

Speaking of Warhol:  one of them appears to be  a silk screen of a news photo from the Civil Rights clashes in the 60’s.  Could it have been an AP photo like the one of Barack Obama that is now centerpiece of a law suit?

How did Warhol deal with the clear ‘copyright” issues he had?  I looked it up.  It appears that after he died his estate made licensing agreements with Campbell soup; but not before his death.

The timeliness of this museum hit me in another way.  The Shaprio foundation is named as a benefactor and I believe has a gallery in their name.  The Shapiro charitable foundation was one of the victims of Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme and this foundation has had to send letters to many recipients that they can no longer honor their commitments due to financial losses.

The museum,  according to the latest from the President of Brandeis, shall be incorporated into the college arts program with some access to the public, but, and here’s the most important part,  the holdings shall be sold “if needed”.

Safe to say, it’s needed.

The protest signs were posted all over the front glass wall.  When you walked in, the girl at the desk said, “There’s no charge today. It’s free to everyone.”

I heard a lady say to her friend, “For God’s sake, they are on the brink of extinction…You’d think they be charging something.”

When Commerce fails Art in the worst financial downturn in a century, in it’s final moments of public viewing, art is free.

©PAT COAKLEY 2009

PHOTOGRAPHS CANNOT BE USED WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION

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3 comments on “Art and Commerce #2”

  1. “When Commerce fails Art…, in its final moments of public viewing, art is free.”

    One could write a book about that statement. What we are seeing is the folly of relying too heavily on commerce to support art. Art should not be just for the wealthy. Since creativity cannot be stifled for long, perhaps this will become an opportunity to re-imagine and re-formulate the relationship between commerce and art.

  2. I agree, Don, that sentence has potential to be developed into something more. Why not give it a try?? I’d love to carry on this conversation with as many artists as are interested.

  3. The perpetual warish conflict, so sad – are they seriously closing it? A funeral for the home of art, something that lifts people in dark times, ironic. No crisis in the world will stop the love for art nor the creation of masterpieces.

    I’m hoping to pop through Boston in April, still got to check timing but its sooo close to where I’m going to be if the 2 cm on the map is to be believed…


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