Friday, January 29, 2010

embrace uncertainty


Embrace uncertainty, and go out on a limb:
say, “This might be,” more often than “This is.”
Explore the canyon that lies far below the rim,
without demanding answers in life’s quiz.

Inspired by Eric Gibson’s article in the WSJ, January 28, 2010, regarding problematic works at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta and the Metropolitan Museum in New York (“Are They or Aren’t They?”). The former dealing with preparatory drawings for Leonardo’s massive equestrian sculpture of Duke Francesco Sforza, destroyed by the French in 1593 and a silver relief of the beheading of John the Baptist by Verocrochio, to whom Leonardo was apprenticed for six years, beginning when he was 14. The exhibition proposes that two figures in the Verrochio, dated 1477–78, are the work of Leonardo. The Metropolitan exhibits “The Young Archer Attributed to Michelangelo.” Gibson writes:

We know museums primarily as arbiters of culture, their collections and displays instructing us in such matters as what constitutes a masterpiece and who painted what. So it’s refreshing when they embrace uncertainty, going out on a limb to tell us “This mighr be” rather than “This is.”


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