Culture Clash Resolved: Art loves Football

Throughout the ages the realms of creative expression and athletic prowess have only shared fleeting glances at one another. For the most part, clinic or at least according to sitcom legend, the artsy fartsy types rarely appreciate the jocks and the jocks pound the artists with the sort of pent-up rage that stems from an inability on their own part to express themselves without violence.  These are the cliches of truth.


But now that’s all changed. Times, they are a changing. Here is a fantastic account of some high stakes wagering between the directors of the Indianapolis Museum of Art (Max Anderson) and the New Orleans Museum of Art (E. John Bullard) Both teams have a pony in the upcoming Super Bowl between the Indianapolis Colts and the New Orleans Saints and neither man feels defeat is in their cities’ futures.

I suggest clicking away and reading the whole scoop, but here is my favorite from their exchange (after it had already heated up a bit – and they can’t decide what to wager):

“I am amused that Renoir is too sweet for Indianapolis. Does this mean that those Indiana corn farmers have simpler tastes? If so why would Max offer us that gaudy Chalice — just looks like another over-elaborate Victorian tchotchke. Let’s get serious. Each museum needs to offer an art work that they would really miss for three months. What would you like Max? A Monet, a Cassatt, a Picasso, a Miro? Sorry but we have no farm scenes or portraits of football players to send you.” – Bullard

They eventually settle on trading some piece of frilly awesome for some other piece pinky-up rad. The point is they got to temporarily jump out of their polite comfort zone and feel what it’s like to compete and trash talk and defend their city’s pride – much like professional athletes do on a weekly basis. No matter who wins (The Saints are going to win though, for the record) this fiery bout of territorial pride goes a long way in renewing the lost bond between physical ability and creative aspiration.

Now all we need is a Super Bowl between Israel and Palestine. Wait, what?

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