Although our local daily newspaper's slick new mag Cape Cod View fairly dotes on it, The Boston Herald had some pretty uncomplimentary things to say about Osterville's William Koch's art collection;
The Museum of Fine Arts has taken its critical lumps the past few years for a series of unrepentantly lowbrow exhibitions - such as the Ralph Lauren roadster car lot and the monumentally egomaniacal collection from William Koch’s closet, ”Things I Love.”
Actually, that Amedeo Modigliani in Koch's Osterville living room above is pretty kewl.
An avid racing enthusiast, Koch won the prestigious America's Cup Race in 1992 with the “America³” (“America Cubed”). In 1995, Koch launched the first and only all-women’s America’s Cup team. William Koch has amassed the largest collection of America's Cup models known to exist, comprising almost 200 full and half models. The painting on the left, "Sailor's Wedding" by cape artist Ralph Eugene Cahoon is his. He lives (on occasions) in a home in Osterville.
Another Boston magazine said of Bill's taste in art,"Things I Love: The Many Collections of William I. Koch at the MFA is both intriguing and baffling to me. How did we end up with sailboats on the front lawn of the Museum of FINE ARTS? Well, those boats came along with works of sculpture, paintings and historically significant objects, but I wonder…if my artwork became valuable, would my blankie end up in a gallery? If we love it does that make it art?"
The article goes on "Koch is allowed his boats on the MFA lawn because we “should” love them, but they’re only on there because the MFA loves Koch’s Fernando Botero sculptures. Koch is permitted the conceit that everything he loves is inherently valuable, just because the MFA finds some of it so. The show sends the wrong message or, at least, a less than honest one. In the end I have the sense that Mr. Koch just loves things that are expensive – that’s the only thing his collections really have in common." Koch's sculptures by Fernando Botero are above on left. They are proof of the adage, "if you want to look thin, stand next to really fat people", or in this case, sculptures.
Koch theatens to sue Globe for libel over review of his art
Greater Boston on WGBH did a scathing report of wild Bill's reaction to Globe columnist Alex Beam's madcap review of the domestic, romantic, and just plain antic history of Koch (“rhymes with ‘joke,’” Beam wrote). review of his MFA show, see it here, and another column about it here.
And here's a Mark Jurkowitz column about the libel suit in The Pheonix here, the Globe column headlined "The Things Bill Koch Really Loves" offered an unflattering portrait of Koch that described a number of legal battles in his life, including the report of a past arrest for "threatening to beat his whole family to death with his belt." Referring to the Koch’s "Things I Love" exhibit at the MFA, Beam wrote, "He also loves money, sex, litigation and any combination thereof."