A Tipping Point In A Culture Crisis?

The announcement that the New York Public Library is selling off art to finance an endowment is a disgrace. “These are bad times for high culture at the cash register. Seats aren’t being filled, turnstiles aren’t whirling. Cultural institutions are having to scramble. That this is happening at a moment when there’s more wealth around than at any time, in any one single place, in history suggests that a tipping point has been reached, that the dumbing-down epitomized by the Styles section of The Times, or the failure of our great universities to educate, or what works and what doesn’t on Broadway or at your local multiplex, has finally achieved implosive velocity. It suggests that there’s more to what’s happening than a simple post-9/11 fall-off in tourism, that some kind of sea change is in the works.”