Corrections or additions?
This column was published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on October 27, 1999. All rights reserved.
Between the Lines
Some of you may have read last week’s New York Times
article chronicling Mayor Rudolph Giuliani’s battle with the trustees
of the Brooklyn Museum over its exhibition of Charles Saatchi’s
controversial collection of artworks, aptly titled "Sensation."
The October 21 article discussed the possibility that Giuliani could
evict the museum from its city-owned building, thereby enabling the
museum to retaliate by packing up its entire collection — 1.5
million pieces, the second largest in the United States — and
moving it elsewhere.
The museum’s attorney, Floyd Abrams, was described as "squeezing
the eviction issue for all it is worth in the battle for public opinion.
Almost gleefully, he raises the prospect of moving vans spiriting
art off to, say, New Jersey."
Here at U.S. 1 we had to wince at the continued use of New Jersey
as the epitome of unwashed American culture. But we also recognized
that bitter threat: Well, if you don’t like it here, why don’t you
just take it elsewhere. It happened in Princeton just a few weeks
ago. The Planning Board, more than a year after it first heard and
saw the proposal for a new and expanded, Michael Graves-designed Arts
Council, suddenly denounced the $3 million project for being too large
for the site.
The Arts Council protested and Princeton Borough Mayor Marvin Reed
played Rudy Giuliani-tough: If they must have such a large building,
he threatened, perhaps they should just move to, say, Princeton Township.
While U.S. 1’s publisher, senior editor, and staff writer all live
in Princeton Borough, the rest of us would cheerfully attend Arts
Council events if they were located in the spacious Township. And
to us it would still be Princeton.
Remember the horrified reaction of the Kent State University trustees
after George Segal delivered his commissioned sculpture to commemorate
the National Guard killings there? The finished piece, "Abraham
and Isaac," now stands on the Princeton University campus.
As for the Brooklyn Museum, we point to page 47 of this issue, and
Trenton’s $60 million new arena — achieved by an impressive amount
of public and private cooperation. The marketing people could make
a strong case for an art museum midway between New York and Philadelphia,
with a huge potential audience within an hour’s drive, as opposed
to being cloistered in a borough of New York. Of course, this is just
our musing on another Jersey joke, but watch out what you wish for.
Thank you for the article on our Design Day 1999 program (October
13). Not only do we hope the general public will attend but also we
hope it will remind our members who work in the greater Princeton
area. The Central section of AIA New Jersey — Mercer, Monmouth,
Hunterdon, and Somerset — comprises 30 percent of our overall
members within the state.
Robin L. Murray AIA
5. Presenters include Michael Graves and Charles Gwathmey. Call 609-393-5690.
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