Since its Super Bowl season and at least half of America is gripped with football fever, art blogger Tyler Green has been doing his best to stoke the fires of competition between the Indianapolis Museum of Art and the New Orleans Museum of Art. The two proud institutions have stepped up to the plate and thrown their hats into the Super Bowl ring.
What began as a rather tame art bet (a nice 1908 Renoir for some alright Ingrid Calame, which later morphed into a bejeweled 18th cup) has blossomed into a serious wager that has IMA’s JMW Turner, “The Fifth Plague of Egypt” (1800) up against NOMA’s “Portrait of Marie Antoinette, Queen of France” (1786) by Élisabeth-Louise Vigée Lebrun. Now THAT’S a bet! Claude Lorrain, “Ideal View of Tivoli” (1644).
The losing institution will be loaning their work to the winning museum for a few months so that locals can walk by painting and proclaim what a great game that was and how awesome their city is. Ahhh … isn’t healthy competition great?
This wager may actually make me watch the game if only to figure out which museum will be out a masterpiece for a few months. Though I wonder if Indianapolis is sarcastically suggesting that if they lose the football match-up that they wish a Biblical plague on New Orleans? On the other hand, if Indianapolis wins and they get the luscious Lebrun, is it NOMA’s subtle way of saying, “Off with their heads!” Oh, the complex psychology of art.
Modern Art Notes: Art museum director Super Bowl trash talk: It’s ON.
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UPDATE: Seems that NOMA doesn’t want to part with its “fragile” Lebrun, but they are offering up their Claude Lorrain … hmmmm …. are they losing hope in their team?
UPDATE 2: No, NOMA is just being a bunch of art history geeks and they’ve offered up the father of landscape painting and a work by someone who inspired Turner.