December 15, 2010

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 greg.org, 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 greg.org that time.

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first published: December 15, 2010.

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