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Crystal Bridges Fills A Gap

Now it can be told: As I reveal in tomorrow’s  Wall Street Journalonline now — Crystal Bridges is the proud owner of a 1961 Rothko, No. 210/No. 211 (Orange). It should answer a few of the critics who complained that the museum’s postwar collection was weak (including me).

My little piece, an “Object of Beauty” on the Icons page, tells much of the story.

But I will be back with more details and more about the museum’s recent additions to its collection in the next day or so.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Crystal Bridges




  1. Eric Berman says:

    You know, I remember when the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City bought Rembrandt’s “Aristotle Contemplating a Bust of Homer” in 1961. Thousands of New Yorkers lined up to see the work and we were all impressed that this undeniably impressive and famous painting could cost so inconceivably much: $2.3 million.
    Now comes Alice Walton plumping up her collection with a $24 million dollar Rothko painted the same year the Met purchase was made. The purchase price of the Rembrandt would be $17.7 million today according to Bureau of Labor Statistics CPI Inflation Calculator, yet the appallingly high price for this Rothko raises no eyebrows, and comparisons of merit . . . where are they. Or are art critics like network anchor newsmen–you ask the questions and say nothing, mutter no challenge when the answers are vague talking points or complete fabrications? Just reporting the story; no room for judgment.
    Any comment on the nature of inflation in the world of billionaires and its impact on the art market and art appreciation in general?

    • Thanks for your comment. I think that if you read my blog and my articles you would see that, over time, I have expressed dismay that the prices of many contemporary art works are out of line, compared with older art. But I don’t think there’s any point in mounting such a hobby horse in every post. That gets tedious. Let me correct one thing in your comment: Alice Walton didn’t buy this painting. The museum did, and it paid for it from its funds, plus (probably) donations, but not from Alice, according to the director.

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