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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Snobby New York Art Critic Scowls on St. Louis; Taxpayer-Funded Trip Wasn't Good Enough

Posted By on Wed, Jul 24, 2013 at 7:00 AM

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5. The Chess Hall of Fame? Pathetic!

click to enlarge COURTESTY MISSOURI BOTANICAL GARDEN
  • Courtesty Missouri Botanical Garden

From MoBot it was on to the World Chess Hall of Fame. (OK, perhaps Wilson has a legitimate complaint here.) He writes of the World Chess HOF:

"As a later powwow confirmed, my colleagues and I were all, by this point, wondering why we were here. The institution, for all its reported popularity, had a subtle air of desperation that made me pity and slightly fear its staff; perhaps they too were wondering how they'd ended up doing what they were doing."

6. Saint Louis Art Museum: Where are the celebrities?

Had Wilson's flight to St. Louis not been canceled, he would have had the chance to view Saint Louis Art Museum and its new, David Chipperfield-designed wing on Friday night. Instead, it wasn't until Saturday that he finally got a chance to see the $160 million expansion. So what did the art critic think? Who knows. Wilson only writes of his disappointment in not being able to rub elbows with the art-world celebs who toured the facility before him. Writes Wilson:

"We made it [to the Saint Louis Art Museum] by nineish, only to find the place close to empty, the stars having mostly, it seemed, moved on. Pounding our drinks in the Grand Central-esque lobby, we went our separate ways -- I got a great personal tour of the understated new galleries from curator Tricia Paik but saw no one else; others of our party at least clocked High Museum of Art director Michael Shapiro, Museum of Modern Art curator Ann Temkin, Brooklyn Museum curator Elizabeth "Buffy" Easton, and New York dealer Craig F. Starr. Chipperfield, reportedly a grumpy sort given to moaning about American construction workers' lack of craftsmanship, was nowhere to be seen. But hey, we saw Isaac Mizrahi at the airport the next morning. He was wearing sparkly blue nail polish."
And that is how Wilson's article ends. But perhaps there could be a happier ending? The CVC tells Daily RFT that it would love to pay for Wilson to return to St. Louis!

"He was in a bad mood. It can happen to anybody," says Donna Andrews, spokeswoman for the CVC, which funded Wilson's trip last month but did not plan the itinerary of his tour. (Saint Louis Art Museum is to blame for that.) "We will extend him an invitation to come back to St. Louis," says Andrews. "He left with a bad impression. We can change that."

For what it's worth, last month RFT art critic Jessica Baran predicted that St. Louis had little to gain in shipping in out-of-town writers to review the new wing of SLAM. Read her commentary: Flyover This!

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