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March 23, 1978 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1978-03-23

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Page 4-Thursday, march 23, 1978-The Michigan Daily
Art migrates

to the Sunbelt

By Terry Trucco

Businesses in Boston go bankrupt because
of it. Steel mills in Ohio shutdown, and
:Michigan and New York lose seats in
=Congress because of it. Now "Sunbelt Tilt" -
the shift of money, people and power out of
the frosty North to the booming South and
.West - is becoming a multi-million-dollar
force in the art world as well.
Just recently, John D. Rockefeller III an-
nounced he would leave his impressive collec-
tion of historical American art, currently in
:New York, to the fine arts museums of San
Francisco. The Rockefellers always have
been synonymous with lavish patronage of
the arts in New 'York. But Rockefeller's
decision to bequeathe his important collection
to faraway California only added one more
wave to a westward flood of art treasures that
already is challenging the historic
preeminence of East Coast dowager
museums like the Boston Museum of Fine Ar-
ts and the Metropolitan Museum in New
WHILE MILLIONS of Americans have
been moving west, art has been migrating too
- to museums that now house collections of
world importance in Dallas, Los Angeles,
Pasadena and Santa Barbara.
The Boston-New York-Washington art
elite may sniff at the nouveaux riches of
California and Texas, just as cultivated
Europeans once scorned brash New Yorkers;
but when vast sums of new money are spent
on important art works, even areas once
scorned as cultural backwaters become
capitals of the art world.
The Norton Simon Museum, formerly the
Pasadena Museum of Contemporary Art, is
one example of a rich westerner turning a
California suburb almost overnight into an
important art center.4
But the event that shook the art world most
was the late J. Paul Getty's decision to turn
his private California museum - a copy of an
Italian villa perched on a cliff above the
Pacific in Malibu, near Los Angeles - into

the most financially powerful art center in the
world. When the-oil billionaire died in 1976, he
left not only his extraordinary art collection,
but the bulk of his immense fortune to his
THE GETTY bequest totally shook the
foundations of the art world because it totally
disrupted the balance of buying power in the
art world. While esthetics no doubt play a role
in art, the Getty bequest once again demon-
strated that hard, cold cash - and lots of it -
is a force with which even the most cultivated
of sensibilities must reckon.
With an endowment of nearly $800 million
- almost six times that of the Met in New
York, hitherto America's richest'museum -
Getty's little beachside palace now makes
museum directors around the world tremble.
With its annual income of $50 million, the Get-
ty museum easily could afford simply to buy
every major piece of art on sale everywhere
each season, and still have plenty of loose
The Getty is already off to a rousing start.
It recently acquired a statue attributed to the
fourth century B.C. Greek sculptor Lysippus.
If the tall, bronze statue of a Greek athlete,
rescued from the Adriatic in 1963 by a pair of
Italian fishermen, is indeed a Lysippus, the
Getty would own the only known work by the
classic Greek sculptor in the world. Not even
Greece has one.
The museum paid a reported $3.9 million,
the highest price ever for a statue by an
American museum.
MUSEUM OBSERVERS, nonetheless,
find all that money chilling. Much ,of the
world's great art is not for sale; the bequest
won't cast a shadow on Paris' Louvre or Lon-
don's Tate. But for younger, developing
museums such as Dallas' Kimball or even
European museums like Amsterdam's
famous Rijksmuseum, the Getty's buying
power is ominous.
Says one auction authority, "If someone
dies and leaves a museum a nice little

bequest, say $25,000 a year, that won't even be
a drop."
The real cause for alarm, though, is that
art prices will skyrocket. Getty spokesmen
promise they will be prudent buyers and point
to the fact that they negotiated the price of the
Lysippus for nearly five years.
The Getty has also indicated that it is
willing to share its wealth and its art - even
with those East Coast museums which, in the
past, thumbed their noses, at the nouveau
riche interloper from the West. Already, the
Getty has lent its Lysippus to both the Boston
Museum of Fine Arts and the Denver Art
WHY ARE SO MANY major art collectors
choosing to bequeathe their collections to the
Sunbelt - especially men like Rockefeller
and Getty who spend their lives far away, in
places like New York and London?
More and more collectors have
discovered, as Rockefeller did, that their
money and their art can have a stronger im-
pact on places like San Francisco's fine arts
museums that still have gaps to fill in their
collections than in museums like the
Metropolitan, where masterpieces already
crowd the walls.
The gift also can make a genuine differen-
ce in the community's art climate.
"There has been an interest out here in
American art for years, but we've never had
the collection to support it," says Wanda
Corn, an American art historian at Mills
College in Oakland. "The Rockefeller collec-
tion should be a tremendous boost to the
possibilities of American art scholarship in
this area."
The Getty bequest, for example, already
has had a major impact on the Los Angeles
area. Southern Californians love their odd-
looking museum with its unusual collection of
ancient art and Frenchy decorative objects.
The museum is always full of visitors, and art
enthusiasts in the area hope the Getty will
serve as a catalyst for scholarly research.

. Gf

tjS ,..

,I - 1 I

l~l ik

ANOTHER REASON so much art is
moving west is that art centers like Boston
and New York seem to have become jaded af-
ter living for so long among their treasures.
While museums in Texas and California
hustle for important bequests, East Coast art
scholars and museum people - content and
secure with their own vast holdings - have
tended until now to look with benevolence, not
alarm, on most of the recent bequests they
didn't get.
At the time of the Rockefeller announ-
cement, Philippe de Montebello, acting direc-
tor of the Metropolitan, said, "Obviously,
there are major items we'd like, but so large a
gift for us would be redundant. It's good for
the country to have a distribution of
Added one art market observer, "The
great institutions of the East have taken

themselves out of the competition because.
they don't need bequests like the.
Other museum authorities insist there is
little to be concerned about. All the important
art will not end up in California, they contend,
simply because other museums have
cultivated dealers through the years have
have their own methods of scouting new art.
This demeanor of indulgent superiority,
however, is showing signs of cracking, and
what seems to disturb established art leaders
most is not losing a few artifacts to the Sun-
belt, but seeing all that money slip away. -
"It was a wicked thing for Getty to do,"
sniffs one New Yorker. Most of the art world
would probably agree.
Terry Trucco is arts correspondent for
the Pacific News Service.

"h Mt tgan atig
Eighty-Eight Years of Editorial Freedom
420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, M1 48109
Vol. LXXXVIII, No. 136 News Phone: 764-0552
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan
City Council joins the Regents

Samoff decision should be reversed

C ITY COUNCIL proved Monday
night that it could follow the
Regents' footsteps and keep its in-
vestments in banks and firms connec-
ted with the South African apartheid



-Council defeated two amendments to
a general investment policy which
would have forbidden the city from in-
vesting money in banks which loan
1noney -to South Africa and prohibited
it from making investments in firms
which do not adhere to the Sullivan
principles, nationally-recognized anti-
discrimination guidelines.
However, Council rejection of the
proposals, in light of the recent
passage~pf the Human Rights Ordinan-
ce to prevent city residents from
discrimination for reasons which in-
elude race, is nothing less than
hypocrisy. In short, Council members
seem to be saying protection from
racism is O.K. for persons living within
the boundaries of this city, but council
can't be bothered with other persons -
in this case, South African blacks.
At Monday night's meeting, mem-
bers reiterated much of the stand
adopted by the Regents, saying that

they felt that removing their invest-
ments would have little, if any, effect
on the situation in Africa.
But, as the University Regents
already have, City Council seems to be
looking at the divestment issuelfrom a
closed perspective. No one can be cer-
tain of the effects divestment would
have on the South African minority
government. What these represen-
tatives can be sure of, however, is the
symbolic value of divestment, and the
fact that divestment is in harmony
with, not contradictory to, existing
legislation approved by Council.
What points are affirmative action
policies, anti-discrimination
programs, and Human Rights Or-
dinances, if their spirit cannot be
reflected in other decisions?
At the conclusion of Monday's Coun-
cil session, member Ken Latta (D-
First Ward), who introduced the two
South African amendments, stated
that he would propose similar amen-
dments following the city's April 3
election. Let's hope he sticks by his
word, and that voters elect Council
members who will follow through with
what other city programs begin to ac-

To The Daily:
On February 21, 1978 the
tenured faculty of the Political
Science department voted a
second time against granting a
tenured position to Professor Joel
Samoff. The LS&A Student
Government joins with many
students and University groups in
strong objection to this decision.
Through our contact with the
student body and in our work on
College Committees one problem
continually aired is the need for
dynamic and effective teaching
in the classroom and lecture hall.
The quality of academic training
in the classroom and lecture hall.
The quality of academic training
and the total "undergraduate ex-
perience" in the College greatly
depends on the professor's
willingness to involve him/her-
self in'the course, give of his/her
time, share an enthusiasm for
his/her discipline, and take an in-
terest in his/her students.
The denial of tenure to
Professor Samoff is a blatant
rejection of these values.
Professor Samoff's course on
South Africa is widely recognized
by students as a challenging and
stimulating course in political
science. But even more,
Professor Sarmoff has shown the
rare ability to carry his academic
role beyond the classroom.
Last fall when the world news
carried stories daily concerning
the events in South Africa - the
death of Steven Biko, the ensuing
political crackdowns, and the
related situation in Rhodesia -
Professor Samoff's office was
open to students seeking
historical background and
clarification of the news.

When the LS&A Student
Government began discussion of
the issues involving South Africa,
Professor Samoff helped several
members gain information and
tools- to learn about a topic so
crucial to an understanding of the
modern world. .
Lastly, Professor Samoff's in-
volvement in the question of the
University's corporate holdings
has given us a better knowledge
of facts and a greater awareness
of the University itself. The in-
sight and reason Professor
Samoff brought to the recent
Forum on Corporate Investment
lies deeper than politics, in the
most respected traditions of the
liberal arts and humanistic
In the best interest of the
University and the College
towards insuring a high quality of
teaching, and for future students
who might be denied the oppor-
tunity of benefitting as we have
from Professor Samoff, we urge
a reversal of the tenure decision
and ask that whatever means
towards its reconsideration be
- Rachel Rosenthal,
On behalf of LS&A
Student Government
outright deceit
To The Daily:
A major obstacle in resolving
the Middle East dispute between
the Arabs and Israelis was
clearly presented in the after-
math of the Palestinian demon-
stration in the Diag Monday.
This problem involves
distinguishing between the actual
events occurring in the Middle

East and fallicious claims made
by the disputants. Both Arabs'
and Jews confronted each other,
on the Diag presenting their side
to the heated issue involving the
recent events of the P.L.O. attack
in Israel and the retalitory foray
into Lebanon by the Israelis. The
several debates between the "two
sides" involved accusations
thrown upon the other, yet this is
hardly unusual.
What shocked me, though, was
a statement made by one of the
Arabs' who led the demon-
stration. He claimed, with utmost
conviction, that the P.L.O. did not
blow up the bus in Israel killing
over 30 Israelis. He continued by
saying that the Israeli gover-
nment, when they witnessed that
the P.L.O. was 'only going to kid-
nap Israelis,' performed the
bombing to show to the world the
barbaric acts of the P.L.O.
This act of deception must
make all wary that some, to fur-
ther their cause, must do so by
outright deceit.
- Steve Shaer
enis/er 'flea market'
To The Daily:
I have been attending the
Michigan High School Basketball
tournament for the past 30 years.
Michigan State always ran a first
class operation and the Univer-
sity of Michigan did also until this
What I am refering to are two
things. First of all Crisler Arena
is now a Flea Market. I could not
believe all the mickey mouse

booths selling "T" shirts,
jewelry, hats, etc, It is my
opinion that Don Canham and the
U. of M. are not so hard ,up that
they had to revert to this type of
operation. It was almost im-
possible at times between games
and at half times to walk around
due to the confusion as a result of
the booths being in the aisle
ways. I wonder where the fire
marshal was and why he would
permit an unsafe situation like
this to exist.
The, second concern was the
parking around the stadium. This
too was a so-called mickey-
mouse operation in that they did
not have attendants to direct the
cars where to park. As a result
isles were again blocked, cars
were parked on the nice grass
surrounding the stadium and only
one exit was wide open after each
The charge for parking was
$2.00 per session. I do not object
to the feeevendthough it cost me
$6.00 for the day but the lack of
supervision was horrible. You
would think the U of M could af-
ford to pay some students the
minimum wage to supervise the
parking arrangements.
In the opinion of many people
whom I heard complaining, the U
of M has definitely lost the first
class image that it had at the
Arena due to seeking the
almighty dollar. I ambnot an,
M.S.U. alumnus, but the x
operation at East - Lansing -in"-
year's past and on Friday of the
Semi-Finals was a much better
-Bob Wagner
Royal Oak
A couple of errors appeared in
the printed version of a letter
from Maceo Powell in Wed-
nesday's Daily. The sentences in
which the -mistakes appeared
should have read as follows:
"Only a body like the Regents
of the University of Michigan and
their corporate collaborators,
which insist upon financially
propping up and morally
legitimizing a regime which en-
murders thousands of Steve
Bikos, would care to call it a-
'government.' The Regents' in-
transigence with respect to op-
posing divestiture, while the
University community has am-
biguously demonstrated its
desire to relinquish support of the
apartheid regime, can only be

The coal industry'


second try

tomorrow on the latest proposed
contract with mine operators, and
reports from coal communities say
United Mine Workers (UMW) mem-
bers will grudgingly approve the pact.
: This contract, the second one arrived
at by negotiators, is a significant im-
provement over the first proposal,
which was overwhelmingly rejected by
miners on March 5.
Advances were scored in the area of
pages, retirement pensions and health
tare, and workers won valuable con-
; essions with the elimination of "wild-
cat strike" penalty provisions from the
nnTt+ iha nPPCt nrnnngal ia

as their need to start making a steady
salary once again. Only Friday's vote
can answer that question.
One question which will not
necessarily be answered Friday, even
if the contract is ratified as expected,
is the fate of UMW President Arthur
Miller. Miller does not sit very well in
the eyes of his constituents as a result
of the first contract proposal. Many of
the miners, upset that he would have
agreed to such capital losses on the
part of labor, feel now that Miller is in-
competent. Whenever the miners do
return to work, there will be doubt be a
serious challenge to, Miller's leader-

51 WlIUK" dWIAMM U4y -, o

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