… when Kennedy went beyond the rhetoric of American excellence and struggled with what artists actually do, he understood art in a way often lost on Johnson-minded arts leaders. He understood it as a solitary and contrary engagement with the world. Artists added to civilization by opposing the familiar, the common, the trivial and the complacent. … This allowed him to conclude something that arts professionals who champion the Artist as Citizen are reluctant to emphasize: “The great artist is thus a solitary figure. He has, as Frost said, a lover’s quarrel with the world.”
Thursday, June 22, 2017
… John F. Kennedy became a hero to American art lovers — but he wasn’t one himself.