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Art: Some Like Claptrap

1 minute read

“If people continue to live in stuffy homes,” says Louis Wijsenbeek, director of The Hague’s Municipal Museum, “it is hard to see how a man of use to us or to the world can develop.” Last week, in an exhibition called Kunst en Kitsch (Art and Claptrap), Director Wijsenbeek gave the public some pointers on what a well-appointed house should be. His Kunst living rooms had a few simple pieces of light-colored modern furniture, prints by Braque, Matisse and Leger. Kitsch rooms had overdecorated wood buffets, shrieking landscapes on the walls, artificial flowers on the table.

Spectators giggled nervously, awed by the bare austerity of the Kunst rooms, or embarrassed to find that the Kitsch exhibit almost exactly reproduced their rooms at home. Sighed one onlooker: “It’s so gezellig [cozy].” Snapped Director Wijsenbeek: “It’s not gezellig. It’s stuffy.” The art critic of The Hague’s Het Vaterland hedged: “The line between Kunst and Kitsch isn’t always easy to draw.”

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