Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Can the Monuments Men Save the Art History Major?

During his recent State of the Union Address, President Obama went for a cheap laugh line by questioning the value of an art history degree. Although he later half apologized, Obama stuck by the well-worn argument that if something doesn’t have immediate economic value, then it has no value at all. The President’s timing seems poor considering the recent release of George Clooney’s new film, The Monuments Men, which tells the story of how some members of “The Greatest Generation” were not only also art history majors, but also contributed to the preservation and restoration of civilization after World War II. That State of the Union joke reminds us that the battle for the humanities’ place in society goes on. The Monuments Men saved Europe’s art treasures from the hands of Hitler, but can they save today’s art history major from irrelevance? Please come over to Picture This at Big Think to read more of "Can the Monuments Men Save the Art History Major?"

1 comment:

Hels said...

As you noted, Philip Kennicott at The Washington Post begins his takedown of the movie by announcing that if you care about art, you are obliged to loathe the film. Hmmm nonsense!!! This was a really good attempt at filming a great book, The Monuments Men by Robert Edsel. I loved the book and I fully expect I will love the film when it opens in Australia.

Except for the Hollywoodisation and simplification of those heroic art historians and curators in uniform. Certainly the unit had a mandate from President Roosevelt, but there were 345 men and women from _thirteen_ Allied nations.

Thanks for the link
Arts and Architecture, mainly