Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Friday, September 01, 2017

Deaccessioning Podcast

Featuring Deaccessioning Hall of Fame scholar-in-residence Brian Frye.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

"Bizarre Pollock forgery scam"

Details here.

Bizarre as they are, Tim Schneider points out that "narrative is only a few fractions of an inch ballsier than a narrative that suckered multiple high-level collectors in New York and other industry hubs for decades" -- i.e., the Knoedler forgeries.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

The logical endpoint of the anti-deaccessioning position (UPDATED)

LA Times art critic Christopher Knight has a solution to the Berkshire Museum's financial difficulties:

"Don’t sell the art. Do close the museum. Start behaving like the charitable institution you are supposed to be. Spend the next several years responsibly overseeing the dispersal of the collection."

Let that sink in, folks.  This is what the Deaccession Police believe.  (Another example here.)

They would rather a museum close than sell a single work.  (The sale of 400 works, on the other hand, just with a different use of proceeds -- that's perfectly fine.)

Previous discussions of Knight's contributions to the deaccessioning debate here and here.

UPDATE:  "With friends like Knight, the AAM and AAMD hardly need enemies. Hopefully, the dogmatism of the deaccessioning police will finally encourage more sensible minds to consider the actual consequences of the dogma."

Monday, August 14, 2017

Tell me again about the public trust (more than 400 photos from MoMA edition)

MoMA is selling more than 400 photos from its collection at Christie's over the next nine months.

I thought I very recently read somewhere that "one of the most fundamental and longstanding principles of the museum field is that a collection is held in the public trust and must not be treated as a disposable financial asset," but I must be mistaken.  If that were true, this sale could not be happening.

You might also think that the sale of these four hundred works "sends a message to existing and prospective donors that museums can raise funds by selling parts of their collection, thereby discouraging not only financial supporters, who may feel that their support isn’t needed, but also donors of artworks and artifacts, who may fear that their cherished objects could be sold at any time to the highest bidder to make up for a museum’s budget shortfalls."  But again, you'd be mistaken.

These are funny "principles."  Apparently they only apply some of the time.