The Director of the Museum of Modern Art Speaks

“Art should be kicking and screaming in the middle of contemporary society rather than literally and figuratively transferred out of reach and out of touch.”

—John Hightower, from “Are Art Galleries Obsolete,” a symposium sponsored by the Art Gallery of Ontario, Feb. 1968.

“I am interested in trying to take the arts out of their silken cocoon and relay them to the concerns of everyday life.”

—John Hightower, quoted in the Lewiston, Me., Journal, March 7, 1970.

“A complete restructuring of arts organizations should take place so that they are governed and directed by people who feel passionately about the arts and secondarily about the institutions that house them. At the present time, most organizations are dominated by wealthy individuals, most of whom are businessmen. Their concerns are primarily the management of money and not the philosophical or aesthetic courage of the institution.

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