Tuesday, October 9, 2007
Should land be restricted in its use because it was the subject of art? The Cape Cod Commission voted last week to scrutinize more closely the plans to construct a house that would stand in the view from the Massachusetts beach home of painter Edward Hopper, who often painted what he saw out his window.
In one sense, a famous “vista” could be treated like an historic building. Legal restrictions could be justified on the ground that preserving the existing land use enables visitors to see what witnessed some past event –- a famous person’s home, or a famous painter’s inspiration. But an interesting essay in the New York Times suggests that what truly matters is the “inner view” in the work of art itself, not its outside inspiration.