Office doors all over academe carry assorted editorial cartoons, memorabilia, notes, notices, and the raucous mixture of things that strike the officeholder as astutely absurd or undeniably true or perversely clever. The doors themselves become like evolving broadsides published by the occupant. Bill Walmsley’s office door is no different. Bad painting is an art form is a favorite Walmsley door quotation. He explains it as--- 
what one person calls bad may not be bad to another person. It’s the end of the century. Art is all recycled, today—or a lot of it is. They’re calling bad art, bad art, whatever bad art is. I remember one of my old teachers telling me the Renaissance was the downfall of art. And another one told me how bad Van Gogh was, and a woman who had studied at the Art Students League in the twenties and thirties said the Franz Kline show was the worst she’d ever seen in her life. I saw a guy turn purple and pitch a fit over Rauschenberg’s goat [Monogram, 1959]: “They call that art?” and he turned to me and I said “Oh, I’d have to live with it awhile.”
He thinks a little further about that, and then he concludes the discussion, “I think like my statement up there on the door----‘Everything is art unless proven otherwise.’”
Allys Palladino-Craig
June 1999 essay for The Abridged Walmsley: Selections from the Career of William Aubrey Walmsley, Florida State University Museum of Fine Arts, 1999


  • Title: Ding Dong Daddy Self-Portrait Art for Dummies
  • Creator: William Walmsley, William Walmsley (1923 - 2003)
  • Date Created: 1997
  • Provenance: Gift of William and Dorothy Walmsley
  • Medium: Lithograph

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