City Government

Bieter To Lead Art Delegation To NYC

The cryptic item on the June 7 Boise City Council read, “David H. Bieter, Mayor’s Office, to attend meetings with potential city benefactor in New York City, NY, on July 28-30, 2016.”

Following the shenanigans that led to the ultimate downfall and jailing of former Mayor Brent Coles, a GUARDIAN reader was properly concerned and sounded the alarm for a records request.

The GUARDIAN filed the appropriate request and the office of the City Attorney has provided us with the information sought. Turns out there will be no attendance of ANY Broadway plays, including HAMILTON. Hopefully, no limos like Idaho Treasurer Ron Crane rented will be on the expense account either.



The city (taxpayers) is paying for a party of four, including the mayor, to make the trip. Two other city staffers and a prominent arts-community member will make the trip with Bieter. A fifth private player will pay his own expenses. The group of artsy Idahoans will be visiting billionaire William Louis-Dreyfus of the “Dreyfus Fund” fame. Dreyfus is a world renowned art collector and owns much of the James Castle art archive. CASTLE was a self-taught local artist born in Garden Valley and his work has been a hot commodity in art circles following his death in 1977.

Bieter and his newly assembled “Team Dave,” will offer a personal “thank-you” for a 1955 trailer which was formerly occupied by Castle and has been given to the city. Boise City acquired his Northwest Boise home near Pierce Park and Castle Drive in 2014. They also want to eventually update the Boise homesite and open it to the public as a museum. No doubt the art delegation would gladly accept any sort of endowment or funds to help with the city museum project.

Castle’s simple works drawn with soot from wood stoves are on display throughout the world, including at the Smithsonian in washington, D.C.

UPDATE 6/20/16
The STATESMAN’S Anna Webb posted a more detailed story extolling the city’s plans for the Castle Museum.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. So why is the City of Boise paying for the trip? per diem? and being on the clock?

    Try this instead Mayor:

    Dear Mr. Dreyfus,
    Please send a check for the 1955 trailer. Better yet, come visit wonderful Boise and bring the check with you.
    Boise Mayor Bieter.

  2. No phone, no pool, no pets
    Jun 15, 2016, 7:08 pm

    Not sure I have all the information yet. Where is the trailer now? How much is it appraised to be worth? Why and by whom? Could the money for this trip be better spent to deliver the trailer? Could the citizens then opt to send the Dreyfus’ cases of great Idaho wines, and football tickets? Is there a classier rather than this apparent self indulgent way to make this agreement and say thank you that will not offend the pocketbooks of the taxpayers? Is the mayor accepting a gift or is the Dept. of Arts and History receiving a donation?

    When you are so rich you can’t spend all the money, the opportunity to buy a complete art collection gives you an opportunity to exploit it for gain. But giving it away and then having the city officials exploit the exchange is a horse of a different color.

    I like the Castle house thing. I don’t feel the choice for the mayor to spend our dollars to say thanks traveling to one of the most expensive cities in the US is necessary. Dreyfus does not expect that. It is not overwhelming nor ceremonial to him.

    What would you do if you were the mayor? Let’s discuss it that way if possible.

    EDITOR NOTE–Word we got is the trailer is in Boise and already gifted to the city.
    City attorney is working out details w/ Dreyfus folks as to title, receipt, etc.

  3. Mr. Guardian… I seem to recall a number of years ago, a house formerly occupied by Mr. Castle was sold here in Boise. The new owners discovered some of his lost artwork in the attic, and a court battle ensued over ownership. Typically it’s the seller’s responsibility to remove anything that isn’t included in the sale. (I’m not a real estate attorney, but I believe contracts are worded generally in that fashion.) However, the court sided with his estate, and they were awarded the artwork.

    Castle’s work is pretty interesting, primarily because of the back-story… seems to me. I don’t know much about art. My taste leans more toward dogs-playing-poker-tapestry and velvet-Elvis. (That’s why the Missus does the decoratin’.)

    EDITOR NOTE–You are correct regarding the legal battle which the new owner lost. The city now has that house.

  4. After riding around NYC on the subway, Boise suffer another couple of years of train dreaming.

  5. Choo Choo.. it would be ironic if they Ubered.

  6. Yossarian_22
    Jun 17, 2016, 7:11 pm

    William Louis-Dreyfus is a notorious Democrat donation machine and his daughter Julia Louis-Dreyfus is a gun grabber zealot. Perhaps a social engineering discussion is in order after they talk about art during their over priced dinners. I agree that this whole thing about the trailer could have been done by letter or email.

  7. Western Ada
    Jun 18, 2016, 9:27 pm

    What is the mindless focus upon guns? Why must they be a part of every conversation, regardless of topic? More guns do not equal safety.

    Why do you need more guns than you can hold in your two hands? OK, a long gun, a shotgun and a pistol. Who needs more than that? Your high-capacity magazines take care of fewer reloads.

  8. Eagle Writer
    Jun 19, 2016, 5:09 pm

    Western Ada,

    You are right, and if we were a nation of “need” your comments would be relevant. But we are a nation of individual liberty – not one of who needs what.

    We have the right to accumulate a billion dollars – who needs that? We have the right to accumulate thousands of acres of land, horses, motorcycles, boats and guns. And few of us need any of those. But only the guns are specifically protected as a civil right.

    What is wrong with a collection of revolvers and auto loaders, a shotgun for clays, and one each for ducks, geese, and pheasant; a 7mm for elk, maybe a 270 for deer, although that is light for some; of course a 30-30 lever action, couple of 22s, and yes, an AR 15? For me the CAR 15 would be my choice – don’t have one yet.

    As soon as you assign “need” to our collection of anything you take away our liberty. And THAT is why the people are armed.

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