Apologies for the delays in posting this story about MASS MoCA.

The scene at the federal courthouse in Springfield, Mass., in the countersuits of the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art v. Christoph B�chel, seemed more like a bitter divorce than a dispute about a work of art. On one side of the hearing on Sept. 21, much anticipated in the art world, was the estranged Swiss sculptor, B�chel, complaining of a lack of commitment from his partner. On the other was the jilted museum, known as Mass MoCA, which had shelled out more than twice the $160,000 budgeted for B�chel’s artistic materials–the two-story house, the mobile home, the movie theater, the police car–but balked at the requested airplane. The museum had taken the unusual step of exhibiting B�chel’s proposed shopping list, which also included (according to Roberta Smith’s extremely pro-B�chel assessment in the New York Times) four prosthetic legs, a hospital bed, eight voting booths, and much more. Not exactly Imelda Marcos’ closet of shoes, but still.

No worries. Williams College will donate enough money to make everything work out. (Just kidding!) Anyway, the whole story is an interesting read with no clear villains. Yet anyone interested in becoming a member of the Williams Art Mafia should study this case closely and learn from it.

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