Antique May/June 13 —
Our cover shows an early and uncharacteristically jaunty painting by George Ault, part of the Lunder Collection featured in the article about the Colby College Museum of Art. Elsewhere in the issue an example of Ault’s later, more hard-boiled style can be seen in Marica and Jan Vilcek’s collection of early American modernism. Ault was by most accounts an impossible person who rendered the discouraging reality he perceived around him in his own form of vernacular cubism. His View from Brooklyn is a favorite of mine. Not to be too squish-headed about it, but the presence of two George Aults here suggests a kind of karma running through this issue. Not quite intentionally, we have paid tribute in a variety of articles to our peculiarly American form of arts patronage: The Vilceks and their foundation; the Alfond and Lunder families and their gifts to Colby; the arts patrons of Fort Worth who staged a remarkable art exhibition for President and Mrs. Kennedy in their hotel suite on the eve of the assassination in 1963; the collectors who contributed to the show of early American needlework at the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens in California; Alex Katz, artist and benefactor. They are part of the crazy quilt of private foundations and donations across the country that make up the American way of giving, which in its helter-skelter fashion turns out to be remarkably efficient and probably less monochromatic and politicized than the European model of state money for the arts.