Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Fisk Twist (UDPATED)

The Nashville Tennessean's Jonathan Marx reports on a wild card in the Fisk-O'Keeffe saga: Alice Walton's Crystal Bridges Museum has offered to purchase a 50-percent share of the Stieglitz Collection for $30 million. Under the offer, Fisk and Crystal Bridges would jointly own the collection, which “would be kept intact and continue to be known in perpetuity as the Alfred Stieglitz Collection.” It would be available to the public half the time at Fisk and half the time at the Bentonville, Arkansas museum (which is scheduled to open in 2009).

Given that, as I understand it, the court has already ruled that Fisk cannot sell the collection, this seems like a non-starter. There's a hearing scheduled for Sept. 6 on the proposed settlement between Fisk and the O'Keeffe museum. Marx says Walton's letter to the university acknowledges that the offer only kicks in if the court does not approve the settlement.

UPDATE: The Nashville Scene's Christine Kreyling thinks the proposed settlement is "not as favorable to Fisk or to the collection as what Walton proposes":

"In [the Walton] scenario, the Stieglitz Collection remains intact and thus closer to O’Keeffe’s vision. The artist personally assembled the pieces in the collection and stipulated that they be exhibited together so that anyone who walked through the gallery door could see modern art as Stieglitz did. Whether O’Keeffe would care if the door is in Nashville or Bentonville is anybody’s guess."