* * *
The Seattle Art Museum announced Monday, June 14, that it would return a Matisse painting (a highlight of its collection) to the family of the art dealer from whom it was stolen by Nazis during WWII. Congratulations to the museum for doing the right thing (after a couple of years of catching hell in the press for its delay in doing so). Astonishingly, this kind of thing--returning looted art--is still very rare: Museums like to hold on to their treasures, no matter how ill-gotten. And, given that the key collections of the world's most venerable museums are often built on looted treasure, from the Elgin marbles on down, this unfortunate state of affairs isn't likely to change soon.
* * *
How did Seattle Weekly's music staff manage to come up with a column title as dreadful as "MetroGnome," you ask? I'm not sure myself, but I do know that it was arrived at by column authors Jackie McCarthy and Richard A. Martin, after they brainstormed at least 20 alternatives, including the only slightly less risible, very Northwesty, "Dredging the Sound." Anyway, once you think it through, the title makes perfect sense: A metronome is a machine that keeps a steady beat for musicians, used primarily by piano students and studio drummers. Metro is the name of the governmental body in charge of our bus and sewage systems, and implies "urban." And "gnome"? Well, gnomes feature heavily in Nordic myth, like trolls, and thus are well suited for Scandinavian-émigré cities like Minneapolis and Seattle. So the name combines references to music, cities, and our city in particular, a triple-rail combo. But there's no reference to software, coffee, or airplanes? What gives?
* * *
Last Monday, the mayoral task force charged with discussing possible changes in the city's arts funding released the results of its long deliberations. While their report wasn't available at the time of this writing, conversations with deliberation observers suggest the demands are very timid, asking for the current one-percent-for-art funding to be increased to 1.3 percent (that has a real ring to it, jdoesn't it?), and requesting a survey of small arts groups and art spaces to better understand their needs and challenges. More on this later.
Send gossip and complaints to email@example.com