Wednesday 25 May 2016

Retentionism in UK National Art 'policy'

Michael Savage has some interesting points about the issues surrounding 'saving Treasures for the nation' which could equally well apply to an incessant series of rewards for the constant flow of metal-detector hoiked Treasures often containing a repetitive series of objects. To what extent is the public expenditure justified and why? (Grumpy Art Historian, 'Let her go' Curmudgeonly criticism, mostly about art. Monday, 23 May 2016).

1 comment:

David Knell said...

With regard to the Armada Portrait itself rather than your own apt analogy of the situation with metal detecting finds, Michael Savage seems to have utterly missed the point. Much like many American museums such as the Getty mainly tend to view archaeological artefacts, he is sneeringly judging the merit of the painting purely on its quality as an 'art object' (I dare say it is "merely clumsy" and of "meager artistic quality" viewed only from that narrow standpoint) but he is apparently oblivious to its far greater merit: its importance as an historical artefact and document.

It's the old false dichotomy: art vs artefact. I will never understand why the appreciation of one of those aspects seems to so often dictate that we must remain blind to the other. The Armada Portrait deserves a somewhat deeper understanding than merely whether it is a pretty picture.

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