Last week I mentioned my surprise at what I considered a high-handed performance by Frank Gehry at the Aspen Ideas Festival, when he dismissively shooed away a questioner whose line of persistent inquiry he didn't like.
Just now, I was at least as surprised to see in the email inbox a message from Frank Gehry, which with his permission I quote below:
Dear Mr. Fallows -
Fair enough - your impression. I have a few lame excuses. One is that I'm eighty and I get freaked out with petty annoyances more than I ever did when I was younger. Two, I didn't really want to be there - I got caught in it by friends. And three - I do get questions like that and this guy seemed intent on getting himself a pulpit. I think I gave him an opportunity to be specific about his critique. Turns out that he followed Tommy Pritzker [the moderator of Gehry's session] around the next day and badgered him about the same issues. His arguments, according to Tommy, didn't hold much water. I think what annoyed me most was that he was marketing himself at everyone's expense. I apologize for offending you. Thanks for telling me.
To state the obvious, this reply is classy in the extreme and makes me feel better in many ways. As coda to this episode, Gehry's Walt Disney Concert Hall in LA, below. (Picture from Wikipedia.)
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