Edward Goldman Hates America

Full disclosure: I have met Edward Goldman on a number of occasions and he has always struck me as fairly nice… As to the substance of his reviews, I can honestly say that he is Okay, except when he makes irritating statements like:

“Usually we see collections of American art presented in rather crowded rooms, giving off a whiff of provinciality, [...]“

or laughably naive statements like:

Checking out the Sotheby’s catalog, I found reproductions of these paintings and thought that they were rather attractive. The question is why the museum didn’t consider such a sale as an opportunity to build closer ties with the community, helping us understand how the decision was made and why the curators zeroed in on these three paintings. Was it because they are not first rate, or maybe because they are in poor condition and heavily over painted? In short, I believe the museum missed out on the chance to educate us, its faithful public.

Clue: If the paintings are “attractive,” then they are probably redundant within the collection. (If they have substantial condition issues, perhaps it is not in the best interest of the Museum to publicize that fact.)  Clue 2: That American painting strikes him as provincial is likely the result of his Russian background. Like so many others, he believes (or intimates) that all Great Art is European. The upshot of his newsy e-mail is that the Huntington has opened its American galleries and lovers of American art would do well to get down there and see them.


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