Monday, November 14, 2011

I don’t see Dogs Playing Poker or commemorative Elvis plates in there. Is this really about art?

Roger Sandall questions some of the premises of Neil MacGregor’s A History of the World in 100 Objects.


Yojimbo said...

No Elvis plates-no art. What could possibly be more clear.

RebeccaH said...

Art, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder, despite the reams full of fifty-cent words written by "critics".

Anonymous said...

MacGregor's knowledge is amazing, but so is his arrogance. One example is the "Elgin" Marbles, that he considers the duty of the museum to protect from those backward Greeks whose ancestors created them, and who refer to them as the Parthenon Marbles. Another is his equating of "primitive" art to that of Donatello. Well, if we are to use his line of thinking (obviously not critical) then a high school artist could do his job.

Wonder what his opinion of black velvet art is? No not the Elvis or poker dogs sold in Tijuana, Mexico, but the real art like my Aunt Lois did. Not an easy medium to work in. Her's were real works of art. Wish you could see her sunset/sunrise over Diamondhead in Honolulu, or the still live where the crystal goblet shined.

Deborah Leigh

TimT said...

To be fair I think the only person who makes the Donatello comparison is Scruton himself - MacGregor, from the available quotes, only seems to talk in general terms about a paleolithic carving as displaying the signs of great art.

From that review it does seem as if MacGregor displays the eccentric partiality towards period objects and archeological relics that many curators would share.