Monday, January 3, 2011

Art also Separates These Two Speakers

A comparison in the Enquirer between two speakers from Cincinnati, John Boehner and Nicholas Longworth is clearly meant to paint Boehner in the wonderful light of the common man. Unlike Longworth who was "as elite as they come," Boehner "toiled as a janitor among other things..." to work his way up.

Though as may be expected from the Enquirer today (which devoted 6 pages to Longworth's life when he died) the story neglects to mention the other difference between the two speakers. Nicholas Longworth is from a family of Cincinnati's greatest patrons of the arts. His grandfather's (also named Nicholas) support of the arts helped propel Robert Duncanson and Hiram Powers to international success. Frankly, strong patronage to the arts by the Longworth family is the foundation of the arts in Greater Cincinnati. John Boehner, on the other hand celebrates a series of actions meant to undercut the arts. Most recently was his call to pull the work of David Wojnarowicz from the National Portrait Gallery.

So while the Enquirer does what it does to celebrate its conservative golden boy, a man who works against the arts is not a man of the people.