Would you want one hanging in your home?
I would most certainly NOT want a million-dollar painting hanging in my home.
Now before you think I’m cuckoo or looney or batty, please hear me out.
I could not sleep a wink if I had anything that expensive in my home, but since I cannot afford such that is a moot point.
For argument’s sake though, let us say I just happened to acquire a priceless piece which now hangs in my parlor. I believe I would have my household tiptoe around it, I would be on edge every time it was dusted, I would be afraid that if anyone banged on the wall too hard that it would fall, and that the glass would break, and the shards would cut the canvas and then the priceless item would be worthless. Instead of bragging, I might tell my friends and neighbors who happened to see it that it was just a very-well-done copy, complete with a dismissive fake laugh that in essence says oh, that old thing. One cannot be too careful owning such a property.
Having a treasure like that in my home would make me ill instead of bring me pleasure. If I did not end up with ulcers, I would likely have a nervous breakdown. Gosh, I won’t even be able to brag about owning something so valuable for fear of having it stolen. And the insurance on that thing; can you imagine?
Such a painting might very well end up hidden in my attic, and decades later when people are cleaning out my home they will find it, and have it appraised, and news all over the world would cover the story of the old woman who had a priceless gem that she abandoned in her attic. Then there would be speculation and documentaries about how and why such a piece ended up there. Did she not know its worth? Was it cursed? Did it remind her of something terrible? Investigative reporters would be all over that.
No one would guess that that woman was just afraid of having it damaged, or having her family suffer if some horrible person decided to steal it.
The most likely scenario, however, would be that I, being me, would let a museum have it at a fair price. But then, I, being me, would never own such a thing in the first place.
It does make me wonder though, why others choose to have such treasures in their homes. Of course, if one can afford that level of luxury then I suppose they would have the best security systems and guards to protect their possessions and their families. But I still would not be able to relax into peaceful slumber, just knowing that having that piece of art around puts my family in danger.
I have seen enough crime shows and read of countless real-life heists to know that no type of security is foolproof. There are ways of getting guards to co-operate, through money or threats on their own or their family’s lives. And there are people with the know-how to hack security systems, even remotely, to disable the alarms.
So why? Would it not be better to have rare or priceless works of art displayed in museums where the public could enjoy them? Could it be considered selfish to keep elegant artwork in places where only a select few would have the privilege of viewing it?
Our museums afford the public the opportunity to engage in experiences that they otherwise would not have access to, such as to admire and study the work of fine artists. It would also be a great public service if those who own such pieces could arrange with museums to have them on display with a plaque informing the public that it is able to enjoy that work through the generosity of the benefactor.
And that generous benefactor in turn would have the gift of being able to relax into peaceful slumber.