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Isn't Beauty Enough?

April 11, 1993

Thanks to Christopher Knight for reminding me why I left academia. His March 28 article on the Met's "Greek Miracle" art exhibit waxes rhapsodic over "works of astounding quality (that) can take your breath away." Yet despite their "ethereal and timeless" qualities and "boggling greatness," he denounces the show as a "pseudo-exhibition that should never have been done" because it makes an (admittedly silly) connection between the art and democracy.

So "the mere provision of an entertaining public display" is insufficient reason to put on a show, is it! Knight is jaded with mere beauty, so he thirsts for tricky themes: perhaps a deconstructionist reconsideration of archaic art, or an exegesis of Praxiteles' multicultural influences.

I suppose it's only natural for him to fall back on academic griping when his aesthetic sense is so crude, but it's unfair. The pedants are the ones who required the themes in the first place; for art lovers, beauty is enough.

S. DIEKES

Burbank

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