Friday, November 11, 2005

The Star vs. The Sun


Peter Goddard meet Maureen Mullarkey. Two very different views on the David Milne exhibit at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Mr. Goddard writes his review like he only was able to see the catalogue, using quotes from Rosemarie Tovell, "who contributed the section on Milne's war work to the exhibition catalogue." I would imagine that he he had trekked down to new York, there would have been some mention in the byline. On the other hand, Ms. Mullarkey actually seems to have seen the exhibit up on the walls of the second richest museum in the United States, and she writes some very entertaining words about her experience, all of which she sums up at the end by writing, "Any bets on how long before Milne shows up at Sotheby's?"

To which I answer, Monday, November 21, 2005 at 10:30 am. Lots number 1, 20, 21, 86, 120, 127, and 184.

As the exhibit at the Met was/is made possible by Rosamond Ivey, who also is head honcho and large and in charge of the Richard Ivey Foundation I wonder who owns the "private collection, Toronto" that is selling Entrance to the Zoo, and High Island I? Then, how much does it actually cost to get an exhibition at the Met? According to the British Museum's website (where it exhibited before going to the Met) there are "around 80 of Milne’s finest watercolours and some of the colour drypoints for which he is also celebrated," being exhibited. And while transportation is a major expense for any exhibit, is it more than $100,000 (which just so happens to be the high estimate for Entrance to the Zoo, and High Island I)? Oh, and if you're interested the high estimates for all seven Milne's being auctioned is $365,000.

Props to the AGO for being able to pull this off. While Ms. Mullarkey writes, "Not every effort to revive forgotten reputations is a disinterested act of connoisseurship" and I would agree with her in this case, what she fails to note, and I heartily approve of (no matter what the means) is that getting Canadian Art out into the rest of the world is a good thing. In this case it is just unfortunate that it happens to be David Milne. Hopefully, the Musée des beaux arts de Montreal will be able to do the same with Edwin Holgate, and avoid the tempation to do anything with Sam Borenstein.

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