Thursday, May 10, 2012

how to and not to behave around a $150 million object

how to behave, properly, around a $150 million painting

honestly, i've been nothing but disappointed with the actions of the university of iowa museum of art since moving back to the paris of the prairies.   i was offered a job as curator of academic affairs before we even agreed to return (three years ago now) and not only did that job never materialize but the defrocked acting director tried to claim the job for herself.  and the new director, who suggested i would best serve the museum as a docent (i started teaching docents in 1992 at the dallas museum of art...), has sent the single most expensive object in the entire state of iowa on a meet-n-greet to the big city of...des a non-AAM accredited art space.

in my experience, objects do not return from being loaned in better shape than when they left, and the "care" being taken of jackson pollock's "mural," shown below in some recent photographs, is sub-par.  the university of iowa is taking massive undue risk with an incredibly valuable object--i wonder why they are willing to do that?  why move such an object 150 miles to a city with HALF the population of the region from which it is coming?  i could *almost* see the reason behind a trip to new york city, dallas, houston, LA, SF, chicago...but this is absurd.  i have a feeling the only thing this meet-n-greet is going to accomplish is a renewed interest by the iowa state legislature in selling the object.  from what i see, i'm not sure it's a bad idea anymore.

how not to behave, version 1.0 (ladders tip over all the time...)

how not to behave, version 1.1, 1.2 and 1.3 (this sucker is top-heavy and liable to tip over, it is rolling on insufficient carriers, and the handler isn't wearing gloves)

how not to behave, version 1.4...does this actually need an explanation? thought number one: measure all hallways and staircases before moving an object. thought number two: do something other than this as the number of things that could have gone wrong here are too numerous to contemplate

how not to behave, version 2.0 (you don't massage a $150 million painting for a photo op)


  1. I think it is worth more than $150,000,000. Scream sells for $120 million. A Lichtenstein sells for $43 million.

    I would say this painting is worth closer to $250 million.

    1. excellent point! and, splitting the difference, say it is worth merely $200 million...that's about $1,000 per des moinians for a glimpse of "mural." the mind boggles.