Mad about art -- UPDATE | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Mad about art -- UPDATE

Posted By on Thu, Dec 14, 2006 at 5:13 PM

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Alice Walton's purchase of the Thomas Eakins' masterpiece, "The Gross Clinic," from a Philadelphia medical school is stirring a huge controversy. It's likely a continuing saga as the Waltons scoop up art for their Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville, both driving up prices for American art and depriving some cities of treasured masterpieces. NPR looks at the Philadelphia story today in a tough piece, a reader reports.

UPDATE: The NY Times looks into Philadelphia's race to match the Walton purchase price to keep the painting in town. Article notes that many more people will see it if it is shared by Crystal Bridges and the National Gallery and quotes those who see some snobbishness in the frenzy to keep the painting from leaving for Arkansas. Even the anti-snobs sound condescending.

That it might go to the fledgling Arkansas museum also seems to irk some Philadelphians. “I wouldn’t call it snobbishness as much as an inferiority complex,” Mr. Goldsmith said. “People keep saying, ‘How can this be sent to the Ozarks?,’ meaning Arkansas.”

“We should be proud to see one of our treasures in other places, even if it is Arkansas,” he added. “We seem to forget we had a president from Arkansas that a lot of people here liked. The least we can do is share with them.”


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