Clarification: A big fat Philly flub

Post from Sid Sachs

[Sachs is responding to a comment in one of the MoMA reopening posts. — the editors]

The Ellsworth Kelly “Sculpture for a Large Wall” (sic.) was not RESCUED from the Transportation Building in Philadelphia since the building is still there and in better shape than ever. It was sold by Ronald Rubin for about $100,000 and no one raised an eyebrow and then Matthew Marks turned around and sold it to the Lauder’s for about $1,000,000.

“Sculpture for Philadelphia” was commissioned by Vincent Kling. It was Kelly’s first sculpture, first commission and one of the first uses of anodized aluminum in fine art in America. The fact that no one complained when this unique masterpiece left Philadelphia while they raised $200,000 to retain Isiah Zagar‘s kitschery makes Sid a very sad man. And the quality of the work and its importance is attested to by the fact that MOMA used it every chance it could in ads and bus stop kiosks. I guess that’s all you can expect in a city that goes gaga over murals and THINKS it is number one in public art. IS ANYONE THERE?

–Sid Sachs is director of the Rosenwald-Wolf Gallery at the University of the Arts. He is one of our contributors.

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