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painted poems

Post #270 • May 5, 2004, 3:43 PM

In an unusual turn of events today, CNN.com posted an AP arts story with a brain in its head.

When the family arrived in India more than 50 years ago as refugees of Pakistan's political turmoil, Kapoor's father used the collection to become a successful art dealer in New Delhi. When the younger Kapoor ventured to America, the passion for Indian art that he'd inherited from his family helped him create the Kapoor Galleries in New York City.

Now Kapoor and his wife are sharing that passion for Indian art in the exhibit "Painted Poems: Rajput Paintings From the Ramesh and Urmil Kapoor Collection," on display at Pasadena's Norton Simon Museum through August 23. After the exhibition closes, 64 of the 85 paintings will remain at the Norton Simon, 49 as gifts and 15 on permanent loan.

For decades, Kapoor and his wife have collected Rajput paintings, works that Indian art historian Ananda K. Coomaraswamy once famously described as creating "a magic world where all men are heroic, all women are beautiful, passionate and shy, beasts both wild and tame are the friends of man and trees, and flowers are conscious of the footsteps of the bridegroom as he passes by."

CNN.com art stories appear under its Travel section. Books, movies, TV, and music appear under Entertainment. Does CNN think that seeing art is like visiting Yellowstone National Park? Or that books and music are, at most, entertainment? Or that visual art and all other media require separate categories? The more I think about this, the unhappier I become.

UPDATE: An alert reader points out, "Puzzling categorization, especially considering the very last line of the article: 'The exhibit will not travel.' I find that hilarious." I do too. Link to the Norton Simon show here. The site is a textbook example of how not to use Flash and Active Server Pages (drifting typography and URLs from hell; see main page for details.)

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