PRINT February 1971

West Coast Blues


THE UNIVERSITY ART MUSEUM (which will, no doubt, become known as the Berkeley Museum, otherwise the question, what university art museum) is important for a number of reasons. It’s a serious building, it was paid for by the students (or at least, “not a dollar of taxpayer’s . . .”, etc.), and it’s at Berkeley, where, according to Newsweek, “things happen first.” In the manufactured stateliness of the new building and its opening, one is almost tempted to ignore the reasons that the Museum is not important: that it is, in spite of Dr. Selz’s generalized, feckless disclaimer, basically another dinosaur, maybe the newest-born, but surely close to the last of a breed of inherently cumbersome, class-oriented and anachronistic institutions; that it is not, in my layman’s opinion, an architectural masterpiece, lending much that is new or better to the display of art; and that it seems, at the

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