Breakfast with Nick Penny

January 7 2014

Image of Breakfast with Nick Penny

Picture: FT

There's a must-read interview in the FT with Nick Penny, director of the National Gallery in London. Sound readers will be reassured, and, like me, issue a little cheer at the end of every paragraph. It's good to know that the National is in such safe hands...

Update - a reader writes:

Regarding Mr. Penny's insightful interview in the FT, may I suggest that the rise in popularity for conceptual art is in part that it involves neither religion nor intellectual training.  Its proponents describe it as "accessible" which i suppose means that one doesn't need a mobility aid to view it.

Hence conceptual art is ideal for enjoyment by a population which, aside from parts of the US, is increasingly irreligious and which broadly is uninterested in both history and traditional intellectual studies, the understanding of which enhance the appreciation of Old Master paintings.  The life expectancy of much conceptual art is similar to that of children's toys, few of which become classics.

And as Mr. Penny mentions with the example of the meaning of the term "immaculate conception", those who have religious affiliation rarely have the religious training which was common two generations ago.

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