Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Readings: Koch’s wine, Dada

Bill Koch’s wine: Bill Koch, the “tycoon” whose collection was honored by the Boston Museum of Fine Art’s 2005 exhibit “Things I Love: The Many Collections of William I. Koch,” is the subject of Patrick Radden Keefe's great who-done-it in last week’s New Yorker. It addresses Koch's expensive investigation into the provenance of four bottles of wine he bought in 1988 that were said to have once belonged to Thomas Jefferson:
Koch’s collection of art and antiques is valued at several hundred million dollars, and in 2005 the Boston Museum of Fine Arts prepared an exhibition of many of his possessions. Koch’s staff began tracking down the provenance of the four Jefferson bottles, and found that, apart from Broadbent’s authentication of the Forbes bottle, they had nothing on file. Seeking historical corroboration, they approached the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, at Monticello, in Charlottesville, Virginia. Several days later, Monticello’s curator, Susan Stein, telephoned. “We don’t believe those bottles ever belonged to Thomas Jefferson,” she said.
What’s particularly interesting (as Narayan Khandekar kindly pointed out to me) are the similarities between this case and the disputed “Pollock” paintings that went on view in Boston College’s “Pollock Matters” exhibit on Saturday.

Dada on Wikipedia: From The Onion's report "Hard to tell if Wikipedia entry on Dada has been vandalized or not":
"This is either totally messed up or completely accurate," said Reed College art history major Ted Brendon. "There's a mustache drawn on the photo of Marcel Duchamp, the font size keeps changing, and halfway through, the type starts going in a circle."


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