At the day care centre the children enjoyed painting more than any other activity. They were the two to four year
old children of employees of a large computer company.
Beverly Johnston was an artist
herself and she had the responsibility of keeping everyone happy. The parents
and the children. She had attended school for art and had specialised in
traditional art; the classics, paintings done hundreds of years ago. She didn't
like modern art. She thought that the children's art was better than the modern
art at art galleries and even better than many of the modern paintings at the
Beverly Johnston gave the children
all the paint they wanted to use on all the canvas boards that they wanted. The
children made a mess. Beverly thought that their paintings were excellent. She
framed the pictures and took them to an art gallery.
To Beverly Johnston modern art
looked like something a two year had done. She wanted to prove her point. She
was going to put her day-care children's paintings into an art gallery. She
decided not to tell anyone what she was doing. She wondered what would happen if
people believed she had done them, instead of the two and three-year
The first gallery she went to said
they were excellent. They wanted to do a show as soon as possible. They even
made another artist cancel his show so that this new art work could be shown to
the public right away.
On opening night there was a large
crowd of important people. There were newspaper reporters and television crews
to report the art gallery's show. The next day the world was told about this new
and important art.
Art galleries from around the world
wanted to show Beverly Johnston's work. She had her day-care centre children do
more and more pictures. Or what the children saw as paintings. The pictures were
really different coloured blobs on canvas, usually smeared together. Some
paintings were large - some small. She framed every picture. She did more and
All the money that was made from
the art shows was put into a bank account for the day-care centre's children.
After all it was just a bit of fun to her. A way to get even with the kind of
art she never liked.
Beverly Johnston kept her secret
for a year. She did shows around the country and three overseas. She was on the
cover of several major magazines and was announced as the most important new
artist of the decade. All the while she was laughing.
Finally she let out the secret. She
called a press conference. On national television with international pickup to
countries around the world she made the announcement that no one really wanted
to hear; that she, Beverly Johnston, did not do the art that was being called,
"the best new art of the decade", it was being done by two and three year
Many artists from all over the
world were very upset. Especially the ones who did modern art - and tried to
imitate 'her' work. The artists who did traditional paintings laughed at the
whole situation. They understood what Beverly Johnston was really doing.
The children at the day-care centre
all received the money from the art sales and they had the best Christmas ever -
using all the money for presents.