Letter: Museum is throwing art under the bus

Posted
To the editor:

The Berkshire Museum has made a choice to put more emphasis on science and technology and less on art. I find this choice expedient at best, cynical at worst.

Why? Anyone who has been involved in the nonprofit world knows that it is much easier to raise money for science projects than for arts projects. Science projects are describable, educational and "safe." Arts projects are hard to define, impossible to measure, and morally risky. Ironic, I find, since science brought us the atom bomb, while very few people have been killed or maimed by a work of art.

The museum's vision is more a choice to follow funding trends than to address public need or interest. It is not visionary or cutting-edge, it is comfortable.

It's an old story: when the boat starts to leak, the first thing we throw overboard is art. From my point of view, the museum board and Mr. Shields are just another handful of people ready to throw art under the bus.

The primary asset of the Berkshire Museum has been its eclectic nature. There are dinosaurs, snakes, mummies, theater performances, movies — and art. It is a garden of earthly and heavenly delights. The activities that go on in the theater space also make the museum a de facto community center. Do we really want to throw this away?

Don Jordan,

Lenox

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