Monday, February 13, 2006

Viewing the Getty From Above

The Getty Collection

Tyler Green at Modern Art Notes and Christopher Knight at the Los Angeles Times have been following the events at the Getty closely and it is my opinion that their combined efforts were a major factor in Barry Munitz's decision to step down. Who says that the press is irrelevant?

Now Michael Kimmelman in the New York Times joins in and poses the question ,"Why doesn't the Getty think big?"

Kimmelman's ideas are welcome as the Getty deals with the aftermath of its curatorial carcrash (Marion True) and presidential trainwreck (Barry Munitz).

Kimmelman advises the Getty to focus on the art and to "broaden the collection. Los Angeles doesn't have Byzantine art to speak of. It also doesn't have a place with enough room and firepower to import landmark exhibitions like the Met's Byzantine extravaganzas. The Getty could provide both."

Sunbrella at the Getty

Kimmelman concludes his piece by suggesting "an all-out merger with the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, which while using the Getty's deeper pockets would provide a perch downtown ... MoCA's collection, exhibitions and expertise would instantly add luster and zip to the Getty and move it decisively into the 20th and 21st centuries of art.
* (My thoughts on this idea)
It's a start. A fresh one."

And before anything else, Christopher Knight suggests that the Getty needs to listen:

"And I doubt the board has a clue as to the deep vein of anger felt within the L.A. art community toward the Getty, or the inchoate sense of monumental disappointment over what might have been — and might never be.

So I make this small proposal to the Getty board. Convene a town hall meeting. Invite Los Angeles in. Have no agenda and no plan, except to listen. I suspect you will get an earful. It will be informed, maddening, insightful, loony, counterproductive, funny, critical and inspiring. Most of all it will be passionate about art, which is what has gone missing from the Getty mission."


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