Public Art and Private Property

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Public Art and Private Property

From Don Kurtz

Published before 2005


Referring to Modernist control of most museums and college art departments, Don Kurtz said:

I don't destroy other people's property just because I find it offensive. BUT, these are the people who perpetuate the destructive 20th century attitudes that attacked and tried to destroy the art of the 19th century. And for almost a hundred years they have had the power to relegate what they didn't like to the basements of public and private museums, while passing off junk as art. These are the people who literally hid 19th century art from 20th century university students. These are the anti-beauty, anti-intellectual, anti-talent snobs, who because they couldn't make good art, made good art their enemy.

The great painters of the 19th century were world renowned and these people disappeared them because they couldn't compete with them. They hated them not because they were bad painters but because they were too good. Denigrated them not for their faults but for their talents.

And the best you can say about most of the art that replaced them is that the janitors have enough sense to throw it out at night.

I've said this before but I'll say it once again - because it says it all. If you go to a large exhibition and there is a 19th century room and a 20th century room here is the difference: in the 19th century room you look at the art and the ear-phones tell you about the life of the artist. In the 20th century room you look at the art and ear-phones have to explain to you what you are looking at while trying to justify why the stuff is even hanging there.

And I don't apologize to anybody for that!