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Gavin McLelland
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I would agree with Andrew Hughes about the Burrell Collection. It's a magnificent collection and the building and park it's housed in enhance the enjoyment of it. Burrell was a capitalist who used the business cycle to enhance his wealth and give him time to amass his collection. He bought or built his ships during recessions as cheaply as possible. He then traded using them until he judged the business cycle had reached its peak, when he sold everything for as much as possible. He then went off round Europe collecting art until things reached the bottom and then using the money he hadn't spent he started again. He did this 3 times. When I read Ctein's description of the Legion of Honor I thought about the private collections I had seen in the UK - some are very eccentric - but none are as bad as he describes it. Of course in the UK we are "blessed" with the class system and for a very long time the upper classes have been well educated in the classics, taken the grand tour etc. Of course the arriviste who wish to join the upper classes must at least ape their pretensions which may have headed off the accumulation of too much poor art.
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Jan 8, 2012