Scrap the Rubbish.
An artistic contributor to a North New Zealand paper has been directing timely attention to the overcrowded walls of some city art galleries, and advocating a good weeding out of the mediocre and doubtful pictures. Many of us who take an interest in such matters will agree heartily with his criticisms and suggestions. There are doubtful “old masters” in Auckland, and there are in every gallery poor things that are simply a waste
”… valleys fair With birds and rivers making song.”— F.S. Willianson.
A picturesque scene on the Catlins River near Houipapa, Southland, New Zealand.
of canvas and frame. Why such stuff is allowed to cumber the walls of a public collection that is supposed to represent the highwater mark of art in the community is a puzzle. It may be that the committees of citizens governing these places do not like to offend well-meaning patrons and painters. It would relieve them of all such qualms if some outside independent person were to undertake the weeding out.
“Tangiwai,” for instance, would begin, so far as the Wellington gallery is concerned, by dumping into the backyard those monstrous and meaningless canvases that occupy so much space on the upper part of the walls. They are understood to be gifts from some long-gone dignitary, whose family got tired of seeing them on its dining-room walls. There are, at least, half-a-hundred other pictures that could be scrapped with benefit to the city's reputation; amateurish stuff that might do well enough in a learners’ classroom as examples of what to avoid, but which are ridiculous in a public collection of pictures purporting to represent the height of artistic taste in the community.