Saturday, April 26, 2008

Talking about Romare Bearden...

A Romare Bearden mural at a Port Authority subway station has been appraised at $15 million and could cost the transit agency more than $100,000 a year if it is forced to insure it, officials said Wednesday.

The financially troubled Port Authority is now struggling to decide what to do with the mural, according to spokeswoman Judi McNeil.

"We have to put our practical hats on and say, 'We're a bus company. We're not art experts,' " she said.

The mural, in the Gateway Center Station, was appraised as the Port Authority plans to build a new station. The project is part of the $435 million North Shore Connector T expansion from Downtown to the North Shore.

Port Authority officials plan to meet with members of the arts community, including local museums, to discuss the mural and whether it should be relocated to the new subway station or to another venue.

Romare Bearden Mural in Pittsburgh
Interesting, uh? There's more!
The mural was mounted in the subway as it opened in 1984. The agency commissioned Bearden for $90,000, using donations from public and arts organizations.

Officials are leaning toward appraising a second subway mural, also potentially valuable. A Sol LeWitt mural called "Thirteen Geometric Figures" is mounted in the Wood Street Station, Downtown. LeWitt is considered the father of conceptual art.
I think some DuChampians would have a little issue with that last statement, but read the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review story here.