THUMB AWARD CULLEN DAVIS: ART’S ENEMY
Thumbs Down to Fort Worth millionaire Cullen Davis and evangelist James Robison for their senseless destruction of millions of dollars’ worth of irreplaceable art objects. Davis, who "got religion" some months after his acquittal on murder charges, gave Robison several pieces from his private collection of Oriental art made of jade, ivory and gold. After deciding to sell the artworks for the benefit of his ministry, Robison suddenly remembered a Bible verse from Deuteronomy: "The graven images of their gods you shall burn with fire; you shall not covet the silver or gold on them." Taking the verse literally, Robison carted the objects to the Davis mansion, and together he and Davis smashed the "heathen" artworks beyond repair. Art is never personal property; it belongs to the ages. This selfish act completely ignored the humanizing role of art, the labor and love of the artist and the cash value of the works, which might have been sold and the profits given to charity.