Thursday, October 08, 2009

"How confident are you that Barnes intended his collection to stay where it was come what may, hell or highwater?"

In the comments to a post by Peter Friedman discussed here, Barnes-move-protester -- and one of the main talking heads in The Art of the Steal -- Nick Tinari says Friedman's "view of the law is naive at best." Friedman responds:

"I guess you want an utterly rigid interpretation, entirely void of context, of words written by a guy who died 60 years ago to control what’s to be done with several billion dollars worth of art even if that means serious restrictions on access to the art.

"Me? I’ll take a pragmatic solution that preserves a heck of a lot of Barnes’ stated desires, takes into account the interests of art lovers, the public, the neighbors of the Barnes Foundation, and the fact that it really isn’t entirely clear what the guy would’ve intended under present circumstances.

"And did I mention that the guy has maintained almost exclusive control from the grave of several billion dollars worth of the world’s culture that he’d keep people away from during his life by denying their requests to see the art with letters signed by his dog?"