Tribune Op-Ed Page
But now that it's there -- let me elaborate a bit on my concerns.
I like Grant Park -- and occasionally walk through it on the way to the Field Museum -- but my real interest is in its northern occupant, the Art Institute - that I visit every week --- so my real concern is not so much how the bizarre world of contemporary art is abusing the lakefront -- but how it has come to utterly dominate the Art Institute -- which, though "encylopedic" regarding the past, is one-dimensional regarding the present.
Why did it discontinue the "Chicago Vicinty Show" 20 years ago ? Why will it never exhibit the top, living artists of non-contemporary genres -- like portrait painting, Impressionist landscape, Chinese brush painting, Orthodox ikons, Hindu liturgical sculpture, American Western art, Classical bronzes ?
Why will its new contemporary wing be devoted 100% to the kind of contemporary art that has been so well represented by the M.C.A. ?
And why do we -- the citizens who collectively own the lakefront land on which it sits -- allow it to serve the interests of the billionaire's club that sits on the A.I.C. board -- instead of the broader, middle-class public that mostly enjoys the kind of Impressionist visions that draw them to the block-buster exhibits ?
Why do we -- art lovers of various enthusiasms -- concede all authority to museum administrators who are basically specialists in fund-raising and corporate management ?
There needs to be a website devoted to the Art Institute -- but not run by its administration -- and let this be my opportunity to ask anyone who is interested to contact me about it.
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