[Ads-l] Quote: When bankers get together for dinner they discuss Art. When artists get together for dinner, they discuss Money
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Sat Jun 11 17:03:52 EDT 2016
I was sent a tweet inquiry from @npr_rad (NPR RAD Research, Archives,
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@QuoteResearch When bankers get together for dinner they discuss Art.
When artists get together for dinner, they discuss Money #oscarwilde ?
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Here is my quick preliminary analysis. Your help is desired.
I searched "The Wit & Wisdom of Oscar Wilde" edited by Ralph Keyes,
and the saying was absent. Also, it was not listed on the Wikiquote
webpages (public-facing/discussion) for Oscar Wilde. Barry Popik's
website did not list it. It was not in the YBQ.
The prominent composer Jean Sibelius said something pertinent that was
reported in a 1937 biography:
[ref] 1938, Sibelius: A Close-up by Bengt de Törne, Quote Page 94,
Houghton Mifflin, Boston, Massachusetts. (Faber and Faber, London
edition released earlier in 1937) (Verified with scans in 1938
Sibelius considers artists, their eccentricities and pettinesses, with
a humorous understanding. One day he said: 'It is so difficult to mix
with artists! You must choose business men to talk to, because artists
only talk of money.'
Sibelius was born in 1865. So he was eighty in 1945. The instance
below is also ascribed to Sibelius, and it is closer to the modern
[ref] 1950 February 5, The Pittsburgh Press, Music: Sibelius' Comment,
Quote Page 63, Column 6, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Sibelius is reported to have said on his 80th birthday: "If you want
to discuss art you must talk to men of business. Artists only discuss
By 1980 a version of the saying had been assigned to Oscar Wilde:
[ref] 1980 November 2, The Courier-Journal, The Business of Art by Pam
Luecke (Courier-Journal Business Writer), Quote Page E1, Column 1,
Louisville, Kentucky. (Newspapers_com)[/ref]
But Jan Arnow prefers another quote — attributed to Oscar Wilde — that
takes the artist down from his purist pedestal.
"When bankers dine together they discuss art," it says. "When artists
dine together they discuss money."
I explored a thematically related saying contrasting the commercial
and artistic impulses that was ascribed to George Bernard Shaw in
You Are Only Interested in Art and I Am Only Interested in Money
The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
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