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A golden bowl for the very stable genius

If I were a clever, or even just prolific, tweeter, I’d simply tweet this, but as I’m not, I’ll pass it along on this humble blog. The Guggenheim has probably earned itself millions of dollars in donations:

The Washington Post’s Paul Schwartzman reports that the first family asked the Guggenheim Museum to loan an 1888 Vincent Van Gogh, “Landscape with Snow,” to install in the White House. The museum’s curator declined the request but came back with a counteroffer: How about a solid gold toilet?

Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan created the piece, titled “America.” The artwork — which also happens to be a fully functional, flushing toilet — opened for public use in a fifth-floor restroom at the Guggenheim in September 2016.

A curator for the Guggenheim, Nancy Spector, told the White House’s Office of the Curator that the Van Gogh was en route to an exhibition in Spain, according to the Post.

So rather than suggest another painting from its collection, the museum proposed something quite different. “Fortuitously,” Spector wrote in an email obtained by the Post, “America” was available after being “installed in one of our public restrooms for all to use in a wonderful act of generosity.” The September 15 email also explained:

The artist “would like to offer it to the White House for a long-term loan,” wrote Spector, who has been critical of Trump. “It is, of course, extremely valuable and somewhat fragile, but we would provide all the instructions for its installation and care.”

This reminds me of a recent incident at New London’s Garde Theater, when it posted this sign:


I’ve heard since that the Garde got donations from all over the world. I sent one myself. I have to confess I almost never go there, but I’m thinking of changing that as well. Anyway, it’s good to see institutions like this joining the resistance.

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