Here we are in the picture gallery, the Pinakotheke, looking from the Propylaea to John Russell Pope’s National Gallery of Art, and what a view, 5,125 miles and even farther in time, 2,500 years, the distance between Phidias, Pericles, Plato and you. What a view.
Over the long and glorious expanse see us grow in beauty, in knowledge, in great works… there Raphael, there Leonardo, there Michelangelo, there Lysippos and over there Sir Christopher Wren, the rank upon rank of generous paternity … well, look here, Michael Aviano, recently mentioned, another highlight in Classive invention … and of course, Thomas Gordon Smith, recently passed from Athens’ high city to the higher Pantheon of God-like realization, though not, as by right he should, a pass into the American museo, our Home of the Muses.
In my opinion, a true opinion mused by revelation: the Classive artist, and no other, is by right and reason made home in the museum. And why. The Muse is spirited by mind, divine; the Muse is not a thing of brain, material; the Muse is Platonic, in form an idea by man formed into being. The Classive arts belong in museums; the Progressive illustrations belong in discovery-centers, in learning-experiences common to elementary, Marxist coloring-books.
There is so much I would like to share of our ascendence to wealth, health, and happiness in the Classive tradition, its beauty, its goodness, its truth, of Progressive importunities, of the religion of science each day receding before proofs of Intelligent Design, yet there is little time, less space, here.
Yes, I would like to tell you the story of the Athens’ picture gallery, the panorama of victory in war, of a divine statue’s inner life, of Ptolemy’s Mouseion, of collectors, of collections, of a monarch’s treasury, of an emperor’s loot, of the first museums, of W.W. Corcoran’s museum, of its dissolution by Progressives lusting after relevance, of the middling bureaucrats who are remodeling our National Gallery of Art into a petting zoo. No, we shall not now scan the vast magnificence of our Classive Civilization, though we shall briefly dilate upon Kaywin Feldman, director, National Gallery of Art, and her sorority of do-goody, culture-makers pretentious in sanctimony, self-righteous and woke.
First, let us concentrate upon a picture composed by Raphael of Urbino, The Alba Madonna, a picture given into the care of Paolo Giovo, Bishop of Nocera de’ Pagani, soon, sheltered in the Sanctuary of Madonna dei Miracoli, then, collected into the treasures of the Viceroy of Naples, the Dukes of Alba, and its sale to a Danish Ambassador, to Emperor Nicholas I and the picture’s resting with others of the Imperial House until in poverty the Russian communists sold the picture to American industrialist, Andrew Melon who gifted the picture to our National Gallery of Art (NGA).
Here, an anecdote: a friend, positioned to know, revealed to me that when hanging the Raphael pictures, Paul Mellon (Andrew’s son), directed the hanging of The Alba Madonna in the pinch by oil from the ridge of his generous nose, fingerprinted onto the precise spot of the gallery wall.
The picture, The Alba Madonna: a theology, notice the intelligent design of parts; heroic in universality, notice the selection of form appropriate to tree, cloud, wrist, sandal; notice the eloquent visual language, a refinement of the Classive from ideal to real, to souled humane; notice the mastery of craft, the comprehensive artistry seldom achieved with ease, that “I’ve been here before” confidence strange to preening moderns and dogmatic progressives.
Just now, some might find surprise that a picture almost divine could discover use in illustration of woke dogma, that dogma typical of Social Justice Foundations, of Social Justice rioters, of Social Justice children’s museums, and of the NGA sorority that weaves good feelings and happy thoughts into the Social Justice of pictures, into illustrations of college theses, into association seminars and reeducation camps. Yet, do not be surprised: Kaywin Feldman and her sorority of Social Justice cheerleaders cheer, “Go Team! Wha-da-we mean!” And here, from the NGA website, by dictation what is meant in question:
Standards of Beauty
What’s beautiful to you? What does this work of art make you think about women in your own community and culture? Who might you want to be in dialogue with to better understand this painting? [the illustration on the NGA site is a sophomoric, plagiaristic ukiyo-e picture by an artist formerly known as, iona rozeal brown … that and other pictures referenced (below) are paragons of incompetence in craft, inanity in art, and exemplars of The National Gallery of Art’s indoctrination program, more embarrassment than excellence]
Racism and Immigration
What does barbed wire make you think of? How does it function here as a symbol?
Gender and Identity
Are there any activities or practices in your own life that are viewed as belonging to a specific gender? How do you feel about this perception?
Civil Rights and Taking Action
What slogans or images have inspired you to act? How is kneeling used as a form of protest today?
Class and Citizenship; Incarceration; Healthcare Access; Internment and Discrimination; Stereotypes and Appropriation; Housing and Homelessness, blah, blah, blah … and we’ve heard it all before, and we contributed to the cause in hope that the do-good ladies would just go away and play bridge, vacation in the Hamptons, give one-another moralistic, glitzy gold stars and leave us alone; but no, now they intend to ruin The National Gallery of Art as they have ruined picnics, lives, the Oscars and the Olympics.
“Get Woke: Go Broke” is the lesson to be learned. Yet, K. Feldman and the ladies will not learn because the ladies are incapable of learning because the ladies are better than you because they tell themselves so. See (above) the excerpts from the NGA “Social Justice Issues” page, and know: You need their instruction, their direction, their mommying if you are to grow into proper, woke adults. Independent thinking is not allowed, young lady.
Yes, K cannot help but mommy, mommying is in her nature; philosophy, aesthetics, taste is not in K’s nature, she cannot draw herself out of a paper-bag, cannot know a picture but in what some other scholar tells, K is a progressive administrator dedicated to results, beholden to woke allies, indifferent to wisdom; K does not value humane achievement, goodness or beauty or truth; K’s values (from the NGA website) are:
Curiosity and Continuous Learning
Empathy and Generosity of Spirit
Agility and Responsiveness
Do you notice: K’s values, the values of the NGA … how to say: great works of art in image can be brutal, painful, exquisite, sensual, imperial, offensive, can be in execution discriminating, elite, singular, exacting, dismissive of Kaywin Feldman’s values, low and middling things appropriate to the entrance gates of petting zoos, well that, and to the “Do not Feed the Animals” command. Great works of art scorn K.
Why. Great works of pictuary and statuary are not “public-service announcements” to be employed as “bumper-stickers” for some Social Justice fashion statement. Kaywin Feldman: respect the artists, the pictures and statues, or leave the care of your betters to a person less frivolous than you, less meddling than the Ford Foundation’s Darren Walker. Yes, Raphael will survive you, Saint Gaudens will survive the NGA-splaining; yet, the NGA might not survive the politicization of Art.
The American people are rapidly losing respect for cultural institutions because you and other progressives have corrupted, have diminished us, and we are leaving you.
Pardon, reader, for turning my attention away from the universal to the particular, to the reprimand. I am angered, more for the nation, more for civilization than for myself. I shall with pleasure do penance, tell of the Muse, the homes for the Muses, the museum, its history, and provide an outline for recovery, for reimagination, for rebuilding the Classive, aesthetic institutions, soon.
Here, a hint: the museum administrators, even the museum curators have no higher an aesthetic IQ than do you, a secret they would rather you not know. Museum staff, and most all art historians know art from their books, which they can recite, backwards, can footnote ad nauseum. Yet, art historians seldom experience honestly, authentically, without prepossession, as do you. And this fear, this insecurity, much the cause of the tedious explaining, of the describing a picture by qualities posterior, extrinsic to the thing itself. You should know: art historians have a comic-book opinion of art, the good guys and bad guys and obvious plots, plots and protagonists inconsequential to your transcendent experience when in Art.
As you will expect, the ladies are collecting quilts, and the artsy nick-nacks typical of summer arts fairs (seen in the five images, directly above), and a few pictures worthy of the nation.
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These, a few artists (see below) whose work should be acquired by The National Gallery of Art, yet will not be, because the artists are Classives, brilliant, male, Caucasian, creatures persona non grata to Progressives, and elite museum ladies.
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