Monday, June 21, 2004

NY Times

Does anybody have better bad taste than members of America's upper class? This has been a particularly rich season in opportunities to view the vanishing folkways of the genus High WASP. Sotheby's auctioned the chattels from Greentree, Mr. and Mrs. John Hay Whitney's North Shore estate, earlier this month. In the manner of their class, the Whitneys did not set off their Van Goghs with pin spots and mausoleum solemnity. They treated them instead as decoration, no more or less important than the penny banks, scrimshaw powder horns and Staffordshire dogs that sat atop every surface in sight. Far from being accorded any special status, the Picasso, "Boy With a Pipe (The Young Apprentice)," hung unobtrusively in a knicknack-cluttered living room suggesting a chintz-upholstered dollhouse owned by a truly strange child. NY Times

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