This is an editorial
published in the Post-Standard on September 27, 1971
The Everson Museum of Art, which has been heavy on modern art and light on
traditional, will go one step further next month with-- get this -- the
"art" work of Yoko Ono, current wife and former "other woman" of
ex-Beatle John Lennon. And, as an added treat for today's bobbysoxers,
both Yoko and John will appear at the "show." Lennon will also have some
Yoko the "artist" is described as a part of the early Andy Warhol
contingent. One of her works includes a ladder, on which one climbs to
reach a painting on the ceiling, to which a spy glass is attached.
Looking through it, one sees the word "yes." Another is
"Hammer-a-Nail-In." For five shillings a person could hammer a nail into
a block of wood.
The Everson says most of her works here will "invite active participation
by the viewer. This includes a 'Water Event' in which participants
provide the containers while Yoko Ono provides the water." The art
museum promises "newly conceived pieces, executed specifically for the
Lennon, for his part, has a "work" he has exhibited consisting of a toilet
which, when flushed, plays one of his songs.
James Harithas, director of the museum, says Yoko's work "has long
deserved major recognition." He calls it an "international form of art"
of which "she is one of the earliest and most brilliant exponents."
We wonder, however, whether the Everson is presenting her "first one-man
museum show" because it is great art, or whether the exhibition was
merely the means of bringing to the Everson a man whose former group he
once described as "more popular than Christ." If the latter is the case,
the Everson will add greatly to its normal attendance, but at a
tremendous loss of good taste and of respect in the art world.
This letter, published Oct. 7, 1971, in The
Post-Standard, was handwritten on Hotel Syracuse letterhead and retyped
on Everson Museum of Art letterhead. The retyped version was sent to the
newspaper and republished as follows
Letter from Two Artists
Wrote that Hokum about Art.
about people like you! Well well - you still exist, of course, in other
small towns across the world. . .
wondering - what on earth has what the husband of the artist said, four
or five years ago, got to do with the current "This Is Not Here" Show at
Everson Museum by Yoko Ono? - brought here by a man this town should be
proud of - Jim Harithas. I mean did people really discuss Picasso's -
wife's - gossip.
I'd also like to know since when this nameless ghost of
the Post-Standard represented the so-called art world? Yoko and I are
pretty close to a few artists, (we are artists!) and as artists, we can
tell you that the "art world" is not in the 19th century, and one thing
artists down the centuries have been up against is bourgeois mealy
mouthed gossip from the 'grey people' (or Blue Meanies!).
likes dead artists. I'm afraid Yoko (and myself) cannot oblige.
don't you come and see the art - I'm sure the man you think I insulted
would turn the other cheek and come.
forgot to mention the other man from the former group (George Harrison)
who is/was a highly religious, fervent disciple of Christ, Hari Krishna,