Simon Moya-Smith: Faux pas from head of western museum

"Comfort claims oodles of unsuspecting victims. In fact, comfort is what I think happened to Sarah Hunt, daughter of billionaire Phillip Anschutz and the director of the new American Museum of Western Art in Denver, one day in May when the aristocrat declared on Colorado Public Radio that, as a child, she found paintings of both snakes and “Indian dances” most unsettling.

Colorado Matters host Ryan Warner asked Hunt, “I wonder if when you were a kid you were ever perplexed or even creeped out by certain paintings.”

“Oh certainly,” Hunt responded. “Some of the images, particularly the Santa Fe and Taos paintings, for a child, are a little bit scary. … Snakes, you know, Indian dances. It really fed the imagination.”

“You opulent, blundering beast!” I shouted. “How dare you!”

I’d been in my car when I happened upon the program and Hunt, so I pulled over, turned the volume up full-bore and continued to listen as she and Warner praised the millions of seedy encroaching Western settlers and their want of “opportunity, hope, the chance at striking it rich,” as Warner so softly romanticized."

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Simon Moya-Smith:: Being Too Comfortable Can Be a Bad Thing (Indian Country Today 8/22)

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