The role that money plays in the art world

Jed Perl in The New Republic:

We should all have a sense of shame about the role that money is playing in the art world just now. For this is one of those times–not the first, certainly, but an extremely troubling one, nonetheless–when money is trumping everything else. Although the developments that I’m thinking about are disparate, each of them reflects an atmosphere in which money has had the power to transform what might otherwise seem unethical or improbable or even preposterous actions into cultural-business-as-usual. There was the sale by the New York Public Library of Asher B. Durand’s painting Kindred Spirits–a central image in the history of America’s romantic infatuation with nature–which raised $35 million for the library’s endowment. There was the opening at the Metropolitan Museum of Art of a Chanel show, an exhibition whose content, most observers seem to agree, was at least to some degree shaped by the powers-that-be at Chanel, who gave financial assistance…

More here.