the contemporary art bubble started here…

so argues Fred Kaplan, in the NYT, about the Scull Collection.

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#1 Ken on 06.10.10 at 8:43 am

Robert Scull seems to have had a few things in common with Norton Simon, whose museum of French and Asian Art in Pasadena is one of my favorite places. Simon was more educated and less “rough cut” but also came from outside the cultural elite, made a lot of money in business, developed a passion for art, had a good eye as a collector, and used his energy and his business skills to develop one of the world’s great collections. Happily for us, he also made sure that it stayed together and grew after his death by finding it a home in a run down local art gallery and funding a foundation to continue his work.
Someone – indeed, lots of people – must have written about the 20th century transmutation of american money into artistic gold, as a subset of the broader story of art as a commodity – the ultimate commodity, as far as value added is concerned. Anyone have some good references?

I think there is also a story about a more fundamental transformation, at the level of pure energy (for want of a better word). Something in the art calls out to a hunger for value and meaning in the collector, makes him (usually) aware of a domain that is deeply alluring and utterly different from the business world in which he has made his living.

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