LA Times’s critic Christopher Knight takes exception with David Frum’s weak argumentation over the cause fo Detroit’s decline. Actually, Knight isn’t concerned with Detroit’s decline so much as he’s interested in defending the reputation of the Detroit Institute of Arts:
“A city that celebrated industrial culture spurned high culture,” Frum opined. “The Detroit Institute of Arts is very nice. But it does not begin to compare to Cleveland’s museum, let alone the Art Institute of Chicago.”
Really? It doesn’t begin to compare? It’s just “very nice”?
I first visited those three great art institutions in 1974, and even now I’d be hard-pressed to slice that particular pie. Detroit has one of the nation’s great encyclopedic collections — its paintings alone spanning everything from a famously soulful Jan van Eyck depiction of St. Jerome in his study, circa 1435, to Diego Rivera’s incomparable 1932-33 “Detroit Industry,” arguably his greatest murals anywhere (including Mexico).
Bush Advisor David Frum Becomes an Art Critic (Culture Monster)