The writer Tom Utley expressed his disappointment with seeing the Mona Lisa for the first time in his 50 years of life. He claims that seeing La Jaconde at the Louvre was hardly any different than seeing one of her many, many reproductions on mugs, postcards, key chains, etc. He thought that if the curators of the Louvre had attached the price tags to the paintings at the Louvre, perhaps people would be more interested in the Mona Lisa and the paintings on the way to her gallery. He didn't seem to get what the big deal was about seeing a painting that he can buy a copy of for say 10 pounds (I think he's British). I couldn't figure out if he's pro reproducing art, con reproducing art or just anti art. I guess some people just have a hard time understanding why some art objects take on such great value.
With regard to reproductions, I say "Huzzah. Keep them coming." It is through cheap reproductions that people get to see artworks they may never have an opportunity to travel to and visit with. It is such an opportunity for those of us who aren't fortunate enough to travel the world to see artworks that in the past have been primarily seen by those who could afford to buy or be in the circumstances to see them. I saw the Mona Lisa and I couldn't have been more excited even though I'd seen her in text books, on mugs, on notebook covers, etc. If anything, that much exposure to the painting gave me even more of an opportunity to appreciate it. The Venus de Milo. I saw her there too. Even though I'd seen her image oodles of times before, it still made my heart jump a little to see Venus just standing there on a pedestal in the middle of a gallery.
It's such a strange article. Please read it and tell me what you think.