No matter how hard I tried to popularize, I never cheapened a great work of art.
When I became director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, it was stodgy, gray, run by elitists. I said, ‘Hey, let’s kick the thing around.’ I wanted to attract young people to the museum. I said, ‘Make it hospitable. I want them to come. I want them to make dates, pick up girls, pick up boys – either way; I don’t care.’
My heavily-cleverly disguised low self-regard manifested itself in my constant showing off, my addiction for publicity, and my intolerable ‘me-me-me’ attitudes and actions. But it’s done, isn’t it? And no one can really change, can they? And, hey, it has been a lot of fun being the life-long irresponsible, snarky, nasty art scamp.
My address book of dealers and private collectors, smugglers and fixers, agents, runners and the peculiar assortment of art hangers-on was longer than anyone else’s in the field.
Utopia would mean a park – some large, some small – every four or five blocks.
If you don’t work yourself up into a fever of greed and covetousness in an art museum, you’re just not doing the job.
The ‘Artful Tommy’ will never change – and perhaps shouldn’t.
Great art should be shown with great excitement.
Parks are works of art just as a painting or sculpture is.