William Blake reduced to cold hard cash

By sizemore Last edited 155 months ago
William Blake reduced to cold hard cash

After the great time we had in the presence of greatness this week it really saddened us to hear that the Tate has lost the chance to keep a unique set of Blake's artwork together:

Experts have criticised the splitting up of a unique set of long-lost watercolours by the English artist and poet William Blake which are to be sold separately by Sotheby's for up to £10 million. The 19 illustrations for Robert Blair's poem The Grave were found in a bookshop in 2001 after being missing for more than a century and a half.

So we can't split up kids when they go into care despite the fact that they'll more than likely just grow up to be football fans and soap opera addicts, but we can separate for the first time in two centuries art that would culturally offer so much to future generations.

The system sucks.

Worse still the folio has been offered up as an investment opportunity hence the division which knocks most private collectors and museums out of the running:

In 2003 the pictures were sold privately, reportedly for more than £5 million, to Libby Howie, a London art dealer and adviser. At the time Miss Howie said that they had been purchased by an overseas collector, but yesterday she admitted that they were bought by a fund specifically to make money. "Investment is the motive behind what I acquire and I advise others on what I think is a good buy," she said.

Great at her job then, but a horrible human being. Don't come running to us when Johnny Depp turns up in the middle of the night with a felt hat and a loaded pistol.

Last Updated 17 February 2006