Thank you for keeping this genre of art alive

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Thank you for keeping this genre of art alive


Published before 2005

Dear ARC,

Thank you for your wonderful website. I enjoyed reading the "Philosophy" section of your website immensely, and was truly educated by what I found there.

I have always been awestruck and moved by the works of Leighton, Waterhouse and Alma Tadema. Although I am not an artist and rarely spend the time or money to enjoy art, I feel as though a sham has been perpetrated on the public regarding Modernist work. I jokingly hold the belief that one day, hundreds of years from now, it will be discovered that Pollock, Warhol and the like had perpetrated a great hoax on the art world.

However, I understand it's not necessary to disparage the works of abstract and modern artists in order to applaud you for your efforts in preserving and perpetuating the beauty, grace and wonder of the works of the Academic school. People, especially 'the average Joes', want to look at a piece of art without needing a diagram, a handbook or a lengthy, pompous explanation. True art stirs the soul, it doesn't need an interpreter. What the eye sees stimulates the mind. I don't need to explain to anybody how the water in Alma Tadema's "The Custom" is fascinating, and I don't need to explain to anyone why my boyfriend cried when he gazed at Bouguereau's "The Elder Sister" at his first trip to an art museum just last year. The public want this, they need this; please tell your artists and your staff thank you for keeping this genre of art alive. It is beauty of the most high, it "transcends the workaday world" (as Josef Pieper would say), and it is wonderful.

Shelley Bellopede
Undergraduate, History Department
University of St. Thomas, Houston