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Bye, Bye 2005


John Haber
Art critic John Haber says farewell to 2005 in Critic's Diary on his site, Haberarts


12.31.05 — BYE, BYE 2005

Before welcoming in the new year comes my favorite part of the celebrating—that long exhale of rest and relief from the old. You must be hoping that I shall not again have a year like this one again.

The year started with a new Museum of Modern Art and the urban archaeology thus rescued or destroyed forever, and it included bad news about another great museum, the Guggenheim, seemingly empty or adrift. It had the rapidity of thought in van Gogh and Rubens drawings, but also chances from Hans Memling and Fran Angelico to get closer to the Renaissance without the usual trappings of a museum blockbuster. It brought a local museum's most expensive purchase ever, a Duccio Madonna, but also an outrageous deaquisition—Asher Durand's nineteenth-century portrait of New York art itself.