Looks like Mr. Beal is angry about what Chris Hill wrote (Lowering the Barre) in this Metro Times article about the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA). That story even sparked a lot of debate on the blog! Now Beal has written a letter to Metro Times in the DIA's defense voicing his opinion of Hill's take on the changes happening at the museum. Beal mentions this in his rebuttal:
"...Responding to my statement that much of our research militates against the primacy of 'quiet contemplative places for ... the self-confident visitor,' Ms. Hill jumps to the conclusion that 'Beal's new DIA will be a noisy place, nonconducive to thinking.' Well, actually, no. While there will very definitely be different kinds of interactive stations to engage our visitors, they will, by and large, not impinge unduly on those who wish to maintain a more self-contained experience. For those, like Ms. Hill, who recoil with horror at such calculated disregard for their sensibilities, I ask that they remember we are attempting to engage a nonspecialist audience in a process that will increase appreciation of some of the most extraordinary objects made in the history of the world — objects that make the DIA one of a handful of truly great art museums in the United States..."
On another note, I wondering how much the world of "art bloggers" has influenced art criticism and stories being published. Blogs are less formal and are opinion based that don't usually get source quotes. But now even art publication are leaving out source comments (see Metro Times and even this recent Art in America story) which makes for angry readers, like in Beal's case. Beal remarks:
"...Finally, a personal note. I responded to Christina Hill's e-mail because I knew her to be a DIA member, a teacher and, indirectly, a personal acquaintance. My correspondence with her is technically and legally hers to do with what she will, but to take an ostensibly professional and personal exchange that is over a year old and use it as the basis of a piece of journalism without seeking additional comment strikes me as more than a little questionable."