Friday 22 October 2010

Q: When is "artwork" art? A: When no-one wants to pay for it

A dispute has arisen over the interior decoration of the new appellate court in Tallahassee, Florida. A total of 400 historic photographs have been purchased for the building, the cost of framing and mounting them being $357,000. Florida law limits the spend on art in public buildings to $100,000. The State's Chief Financial Officer believes the photos are art and has refused to pay bills for the photos for some $190,000, pointing out that the invoices state that they are for "artwork". However, the members of a committee formed specifically to supervise the amount and type of art for the new building disagree: the photos are not art per se, but are modelled on Florida's Historical Perspective collection at the state Capitol, a photo collection which is not subject to Florida's cap on spending for art.


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