Wednesday, August 22, 2007

It's On

Lee Rosenbaum points to a report from The Chronicle of Higher Education that "Randolph College, in Lynchburg, Va., is asking a court to declare that the college has the authority to sell or share ownership of items from its art collection that were purchased with funds from a trust set up under a 1928 bequest, or to enter an order modifying the terms of the trust to allow the college to take such steps." According to the report, the bequest "stipulated that income from the trust be used to form a permanent art collection for the college. In the court documents filed [yesterday], the college states that it has purchased more than 35 works of art using those funds and that those works 'are now worth more than $40-million.'" More here from the Lynchburg News and Advance. For background, see here.

Lee says the terms of the bequest "would be circumvented through a favorable court response to the college's request" (though one suspects that, as a radical conservative when it comes to deaccessioning, she would oppose the sale no matter what), but I'm curious to see the precise terms. Does it say, for example, that works acquired with funds from the trust can never be sold? Could they be swapped for other works? Is there not still a "permanent art collection" at the school if it includes 34 works instead of 36? What, exactly, are the terms of the trust?