Kids in museums - not

August 4 2014

Video: ArtFund

Jake Chapman, one half of the Chapman brothers (they're contemporary artists who put penises and swastikas on things, deep stuff like that), has said it's "a total waste of time" to take children to art galleries. This has caused a bit of a hoo-ha (see here in The Independent, and followed up here by The Times). There's been a big push in recent years to make UK galleries more child friendly (there's even a charity, Kids in Museums, focused on just that), so doubtless the remarks will be leapt upon. But we're not shown the full context of his remarks, so it may be that they've been misinterpreted.

By coincidence, two people recently told me they've cancelled their Art Fund membership over the Fund's attempt to seek £25,000 from members to help pay for a Chapman exhibition at the Jerwood gallery (billed somewhat tragically in the video above as their 'biggest, baddest exhibition yet'). With just 27 days to go, the Fund has reached 61% of its target, which is part of the new 'art happens' sponsorship raising site. Jake Chapman's remarks on taking children to museums came from an interview with the Independent to promote the Jerwood exhibition.

If you're tempted to donate to the Art Happens site, then perhaps I can direct you (again) to a far more deserving cause; the conservation of a 15th Century renaissance altarpiece at the Bowes Museum. The Bowes is seeking £21,000, and has so far raised 45% of its target.

Update - a reader writes:

[...] something seems to be decidedly off with the Art Fund these days. They promote a small circle of predictable Contemporary "names" - the Chapmans, Grayson Perry, Antony Gormley, "Bob & Roberta Smith" spring to mind-who are certainly wealthy enough to promote their own creations!

Update II - another reader writes:

Given the promise/threat that:

“the Chapmans will scour the antique emporiums and junk shops of Hastings for old artworks that will then be 'fixed' by the brothers in their signature anarchic style”

And their plans:

“Complementing the exhibition will be a public programme of events, including a 'live' fixing clinic where members of the public will be able to witness artworks being doctored by the brothers”

Let's hope they don't find and destroy  any ‘sleepers'.


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