Tuesday, May 02, 2006


A Touch of Crass

ANNOUNCING: A new, recurring CultureGrrl feature, highlighting those bad-taste, "what were they thinking?" moments at arts institutions that ought to know better.

First up: the New-York Historical Society, in cahoots with the New York Times, offering online and in the newspaper "a special collection of limited-edition prints from the original, hand-colored engravings of wildlife artist John James Audubon." There are 22 birds in all.

Drawn from the Society's collection, these so-called limited editions---each one 1,500 copies strong---are likely to be hawked (pardon pun) for a long, long time. The Times has been inflicting these ads on us since at least last summer---one just yesterday, Page 7 of the Business section. Where is Michael Kimmelman when we need him?

For your $495, you also get "a certificate of authentication." Authentic what? Modern reproductions of 19th-century prints?

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