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City museums make Super Bowl bet


1644 painting “Ideal View of Tivoli” by Claude Lorrain

It’s a long standing tradition that the mayors of the two teams fighting it out in a sports championship, such as the World Series or Super Bowl, will wager on the outcome and bet their city’s local offerings, typically food. In this year’s Super Bowl, the respective museums of the two cities, the New Orleans Museum of Art and the Indianapolis Museum of Art are beating their proverbial (artsy) chests and betting a major art piece from their collection. There’s been a lot of trash talk between the two museum directors as words such as “insignificant” and “gaudy tchotchke” to describe some of the paitings has been tossed and tweeted back and forth.

If the Colts win, IMA will get a three-month loan of NoMA’s 1644 painting “Ideal View of Tivoli” by Claude Lorrain, a French artist considered the father of landscape painting. If the Saints win, NoMA will get to borrow IMA’s Joseph Turner oil painting “The Fifth Plague of Egypt,” for three months. Both works are now hung prominently in their respective museums.

The confident IMA director Maxwell Anderson has already spoken with his Early European Art curator to decide where Lorrain’s painting will hang. Go to Arts Journal for more coverage of this.

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