Saturday, January 29, 2011

High Stakes

It's long been traditional for mayors to share symbolic bets when their cities' teams face off in big games. On the line in the NFC Championship Game (other than the Halas Trophy and spot in the Super Bowl) was an assortment of food products, from Chicago's pierogi and pretzels to New Glarus Spotted Cow beer (from the mayor of Green Bay, natch).

Now the Milwaukee Art Museum and Pittsburgh's Carnegie Museum of Art are getting into the act. They have agreed to a bet in which the winning city's museum will loan the other, for an unspecified period, a work of art from its collection. The two paintings on the line are both important works from significant French impressionists.

If the Packers win, Renoir's Bathers with Crab will be on its way to the Cream City.

If the Steelers prevail, then Gustave Caillebotte's Boating on the Yerres will be taking up temporary residence in Pittsburgh.

I can't wait to see how the work is displayed in its temporary home. The Milwaukee Art Museum has long had a relationship with the Brewers, nice to see them getting into the football spirit.

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