Quote of the Day: Walter Hopps

Ed Kienholz, Walter Hopps Hopps Hopps, 1959. The Menil Collection, Houston

"Each year I hope we have less attendance because the quality of the experience will be greater for those who do come."

Walter Hopps (during his tenure as director of the Menil Collection)

This week Artnet News reported that American museums' "attendance recovery has slowed, with some cultural institutions finding that audience levels have stagnated or dropped over the last year."


I don't know Kleinholz, but was intrigued by the photo of this cut-out.
Eager to know the media (of course), I checked further, and, WOW. Just wow!:

Walter Hopps Hopps Hopps, Edward Kienholz, 1959. Paint and resin on wood, printed color reproductions, ink on paper, vertebrae, telephone parts, candy, dental molds, metal, pencil, and leather. 87 x 42 x 21 in. The Menil Collection, Houston, Gift of Lannan Foundation. © Nancy Reddin Kienholz. Photo: Susan Einstein
VERTEBRAE? Oh, yes! The reverse is finished as well, and it's more interesting than the obverse.

I found this 2011 blog entry from the Getty, which includes a pic of the reverse. Very cool.

Kienholz is trending for his pre-Roe v. Wade assemblage, The Illegal Operation. See Christopher Knight's L.A. Times piece, https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/story/2022-07-03/roe-overturned-kienholz-sculpture-lacma
Anonymous said…
Too high a level of attendance certainly is a problem at the amusement park known as Louvre World in Paris. Met Land in NYC also receives so many visitors that enjoyment of parts of it is lost.

I don't know how the Zumthor Pier or Yansong Mountain will fare in LA.
The old days where only elites visited museums are untenable.

Following is one of my crank letters to the local paper:

To the Editor:

Great museums the likes of the Louvre hold treasures that could hardly be plumbed in a lifetime of visits. The degree of “seriousness” a visitor pays is rather incidental to the larger aim of the visit itself.

Most museums worldwide struggle for financial support, so passionate museumgoers benefit enormously from their less passionate “paparazzi” counterparts.

Together, we can all assure the health of great and small museums for the long term.

Ted Gallagher
New York, Aug. 3, 2009
Anonymous said…
> The degree of “seriousness” a visitor pays
> is rather incidental to the larger aim of
> the visit itself.

I've described the Louvre as similar to a woman who believes because a little perfume is appealing, dousing herself with a whole bottle of it will be even better. Or Louvre World (the folks in Paris should set up a branch in Orlando) made me think of visiting the home of a wealthy family and they show you all their cars, jewelry, knick knacks in the attic, wine cellar and home movies of their recent trips to Greece, Italy and the Rivera.

The other extreme, of course, is bad too. Which is why, as with many things in life, a happy medium is the best alternative.