May 21, 2005

Money vs Art

Regular readers of might recall that I devoted two posts last year to the controversy over a for-profit exhibition of Monet paintings in Las Vegas. I took issue with the idea that non-profit arts organisations are pure and noble creatures which should never sully themselves with financial considerations or the for-profit sector. But now that meme is coming back with a vengeance:

A for-profit organisation is making money from LACMA's Tutankhamun show!
Lorin Maazel's money has violated the purity of the Royal Opera House!

and, my favourite,

Atsushi Yamada's fund-raising skills may have compromised the artistic ethics of the New York City Opera!

This last is hilarious, partly because the New York City Opera is hardly world-renowned for its world-class conductors. The funniest part of the piece, however, is the reason that the New York Times gives for casting doubt on Yamada's conducting skills: he has never been reviewed in English. He's conducted the New York City Opera in New York, and served for a season as the chief guest conductor of the Honolulu Symphony. But so far he hasn't been reviewed, so how dare he presume to conduct the New York City Opera in Japan? The whole thing is utterly ridiculous.

Posted by Felix at 05:35 PM GMT