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Clement Greenberg by Arnold Newman, 1972
Clement Greenberg by Arnold Newman, 1972
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by Donald Kuspit

On Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2011, Scott Raecker, the Republican chairman of the Appropriations Committee of the Iowa House of Representatives, introduced a bill requiring the University of Iowa to sell Jackson Pollock’s Mural (1943), which the university owns. In 2008 the estimated value of Pollock’s painting was $140 million; the Des Moines Register estimates that it’s worth $150 million today. The Iowa City Press-Citizen reports that the money from the sale would be used for “scholarship assistance to U of I undergraduate students from Iowa.” “Proceeds from the sale would go into a trust, from which interest would pay for scholarships.” A worthy purpose, no doubt, for a pricey painting: presumably Scott Raecker thought the exchange was worth the price.