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August 03, 1979 - Image 13

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1979-08-03

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

,•

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS



Friday, August 3, 1979 13

Hirshhorn Gallery:
What's in a Name?

The language of art tran-
scends all national, racial or
religious boundaries. So, it
is worthy of some apprecia-
tion which is what Joe Hir-
shhorn 'did almost all of his
life.
Hirshhorn came from
Riga, Russia. In America he
first lived in Brooklyn and it
was at the early age of 17 he
invested a hard earned $75
for two engravings that im-
pressed him. That was the
beginning of a kind of love
affair with art that has con-
tinued even up to today — at
an age close to 80.
Year after year, he added
to the collection. His busi-
ness affairs, which had
nothing to do with art, pros-
pered, so he had money to
purchase more and more
pictures and sculptures.
One day, during
President Johnson's Ad-
ministration, Joe Hir-
shhorn visited the White
House. He wanted to pre-
sent his art collection, esti-
mated then to be worth $50
million — now double that
amount — to America.
President Johnson
naturally was pleased
and worked to get Con-
gress to provide a build-
ing for the proposed new
gallery and there was
general praise of the
President for having se-
cured the collection. It
was known that England
and other countries were
anxious for it.
Yet, not much later, there
was a flood of criticism
about the project. Any and
every kind of statement was
made. The collection, it was
said, was of an inferior qual-
ity. Also the site chosen for
the new gallery could be
better used. The gallery, it
was said, was sure to prove a
great flop. Few would ever
visit it.
Hirshhorn was stunned.
What was behind all of this?
He asked a Congressman,
who told him. The trouble
was the name Hirshhorn.
Change the name, said the
Congressman. It's too
Jewish. Hirshhorn was told
by many others that if he
didn't insist on the gallery

bearing his name, there
would be smooth sailing.
Hirshhorn rejected the
idea. This had been his
whole life. There were other
museums, the Whitney, the
Corcoran, The Smithso-
nian, named for individuals
who had established them.
Why shouldn't the art gal-
lery have his name?
Hirshhorn finally of
course had his way. The
prophecies that the art
museum would be a failure
are now proven ridiculous.
Anne Lewis, art critic of the
Washington Post writes
that the Hirshhorn Art Gal-
lery had a bigger
attendance last year than
the Museum of Modern Art
in New York.

The Goldsmiths' invite you to shop at their newly-expanded showroom,
24425 Plymouth Rd., 2 Wks. west of Telegraph in Redford.

Children's
Furniture

Israel Will Be
Convention Site

NEW YORK — Israel
will be the scene of the 17th
physicians underwater
medicine program slated
Oct. 18-Nov. 6 and from Oct.
27 -Nov. 14, and the fifth
world congress of engineers
and architects, Dec. 16.
The physicians seminar is
designed to develop an
understanding of the cur-
rent concepts of medicine
and physiology involved in
scuba diving.
The six-day engineers
and architects forum will
focus on discussion on
trends in development
for the future. Field trips
to Jerusalem and to the
Ben-Gurion University of
the Nege_v are included.
For information, write Is-
rael Government, Tourism
Administration-North
America, Congresses and
Conventions Department,
350 Fifth Ave., New York
1001.

Holocaust Chair

TEL AVIV — The
Binyamin and Chaya
Schapelski Chair in
Holocaust Studies was dedi-
cated at Tel Aviv Univer-
sity recently. The chair was
donated to the university by
the sons of Binyamin and
Chaya Schapelski, David
and Nathan Shapell of Los
Angeles.

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(Copyright 1979, JTA, Inc.)

T

By DAVID SCHWARTZ

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