James Panero writes in “The Culture of the Copy” (The New Criterion, January 2013) that my college professor Ed Banfield suggested museums sell their original works and replace them with passable facsimiles—a suggestion for which your founder Hilton Kramer criticized him. This gives the wrong impression. Ed thought many second-rate museums felt they had to purchase only original works, and, due to their very limited budgets, they could only afford second-rate art originals. As a result, museumgoers in smaller cities did not have the opportunity to view first-rate art. He thought that the Rockefellers and others had created copies of well-known works which were indistinguishable from the originals and which sold for relatively modest prices. Therefore, why not allow smaller, less wealthy museums to purchase these copies so their publics could view...

 
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