It’s some consolation, for Grippes, to impugn Prism’s Englishness. To observe that “Prism’s French…sounded to Grippes like dried peas rattling in a tin can”. To state that the organizers of the centenary event are not Team Grippes, rather Team Prism. And it’s their loss.
But what of this overarching concern, about what and how art matters? Both Grippes and Prism have benefitted from Miss Pugh’s support and legacy. Her impact on the art world is impressive, from the Mary Margaret Pugh Arts Foundation to the M.M. Pugh Investment Trust.
There are committees everywhere, down to the Pugh Memorial Committee. Well, it’s not like the Museum of Popular Arts and Traditions curates its own collection: people make the decisions to include and exclude specific works.
As for Miss Pugh? “She did not believe in art only artists. She had no interest in books, only in their authors.”
But is that true? She had two Caillebottes and a Morisot in a safe. Possibly only because they were valuable (but she had a Louis XVI writing table which was not only displayed openly but used). Possibly because she did not want to weigh in on what matters. (There were debates about these artists’ work as well, for instance, Caillebotte’s paintings of working-class subjects. Art, says he.)