Artists And Their Bohemian Laissez-Faire

I assume everyone has already clicked through and read the excerpt from Martin Duberman's 2007 Lincoln Kirstein biography where he talks about the controversy that erupted around the Museum of Modern Art's 1932 murals show, right? The one where a couple of outspoken trustees demanded that Kirstein remove the "offensive" [i.e., anti-capitalist] works or else cancel the whole show?

So you probably already know and love this quote about artists and their politics from the Museum's director Alfred H. Barr:

Barr, according to Lincoln, told him that if the artists intended to "mix themselves up with an imposed political ideology, they will lose all the values of a Bohemian laissez-faire which up to the present they have desired."
Indeed, words to live by. Best to leave political, class, economic, and labor issues to the experts uptown.

Since 2001 here at, I've been blogging about the creative process—my own and those of people who interest me. That mostly involves filmmaking, art, writing, research, and the making thereof.

Many thanks to the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Program for supporting that time.

comments? questions? tips? pitches? email
greg [at] greg [dot ] org

find me on twitter: @gregorg

post info

first published: December 15, 2010.

next older post:
Ant Farm 20:20 Kohoutek Letterpress

next newer post:
Propaganda For Love [And/Or Europe]

recent projects, &c.

Social Medium:
artists writing, 2000-2015
Paper Monument, Oct. 2016
ed. by Jennifer Liese
buy, $28

Madoff Provenance Project in
'Tell Me What I Mean' at
To__Bridges__, The Bronx
11 Sept - Oct 23 2016
show | beginnings

Chop Shop
curated by Magda Sawon
1-7 March 2016

eBay Test Listings
Armory – ABMB 2015
about | proposte monocrome, rose

It Narratives, incl.
Shanzhai Gursky & Destroyed Richter
Franklin Street Works, Stamford
Sept 5 - Nov 9, 2014
about | link

TheRealHennessy Tweets Paintings, 2014 -

Standard Operating Procedure
about | buy now, 284pp, $15.99

CZRPYR2: The Illustrated Appendix
Canal Zone Richard Prince
YES RASTA 2:The Appeals Court
Decision, plus the Court's
Complete Illustrated Appendix (2013)
about | buy now, 142pp, $12.99

"Exhibition Space" @ apexart, NYC
Mar 20 - May 8, 2013
about, brochure | installation shots

HELP/LESS Curated by Chris Habib
Printed Matter, NYC
Summer 2012
panel &c.

Destroyed Richter Paintings, 2012-
background | making of
"Richteriana," Postmasters Gallery, NYC

Canal Zone Richard
Selected Court Documents
from Cariou v. Prince (2011)
about | buy now, 376pp, $17.99