Letter to ARC

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Letter to ARC


Published before 2005


For years I have been wondering when sense would prevail! And at last, the glories of genuine artistic achievement are being celebrated somewhere at least!

On a bulletin board to which I subscribe, I was, some time ago, howled down for suggesting that modern art was a vast confidence trick. I was ridiculed for saying that one of the reasons I admired such artists as Waterhouse was because I could spend a dozen lifetimes striving to match them and still fail. Indeed one of my detractors told me that he found the art that I adored, and from which I took inspiration and considerable joy, "boring and insipid". Boring??? Insipid??? This from a person who said that he considered Damien Hirst to be an artist!

Please continue the good work. Although my particular rankings of choice among the artists of the 19th century may differ slightly from yours (though I utterly adore John William Godward, and again yearn to have in my hands one atom of the skill he possessed) I have found in your website a true home nd sanctuary. Please, go forth and rescue us all from the horrors of bisected sheep and canned faeces that is paraded before us as "art" by an entirely self-serving elite: be not afraid to revel in the wonders and the majesty of that which has been for far too long ignored and derided.

As an example of how many of us are waiting for you to ride before us as knights in shining armour, I cite the exhibition of Rossetti's works at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool last year, which I attended and thoroughly enjoyed. How many people came through the doors in one day to savour his genius? According to the staff, who kindly showed me the electronic door counter, four and a half thousand people in six hours. And that level of attendance was more or less replicated throughout the exhibition. In other words, close on a quarter of a million people went to see it. And the comments in the visitors' books were glowing.

We are waiting for you to deliver us from scrap metal, broken fridges and smeared dollops. More power to your elbows!