Garrison Walters offers colleges and their leaders some things to think about as they weigh presidential perks. To wit, rationalization is the road to ruin, and if you really want art, buy it yourself. You can afford it.
Many years ago, I was at a New York Philharmonic concert with my husband. Isaac Stern was performing, and given his age, I was thrilled to be in the audience. I had a similar reaction each time I watched Leonard Bernstein conduct in his later years. I thought each performance might be his last.
In the middle of the second movement of the first piece, Stern, seated next to the conductor, just stopped playing. Literally. A hush fell over the auditorium. The orchestra’s sound petered out – instrument by instrument. The audience had that “what just happened?” look.