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WSJ critic Terry Teachout says billionaire Bill Gates is "blind to" the idea that art can be as necessary to human flourishing as vaccines.

"The big news in the art world last week was the record-busting auction at Christie's in which $142.4 million—a world-wide auction record for any work of art—was spent on 'Three Studies of Lucian Freud,' a 1969 triptych by Francis Bacon. You don't have to be a Marxist or an advocate of sumptuary laws to be made queasy by such numbers, much less to wonder whether something has gone wrong with the values of the world of art. That said, it's one thing to bristle at big-bucks art auctions and another altogether to go along with Bill Gates, who said in a recent interview with the Financial Times that … well, I'll cite the story verbatim, since his remarks won't win any prizes for clarity..." -- Terry Teachout, the Wall Street Journal


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