Tuesday, March 08, 2011

"This provides us with a great cushion, so that that we can continue the quality and variety of art projects in the park."

I meant to flag this one before the weekend, but Carol Vogel's latest Inside Art column included a little report that the non-profit Madison Square Park Conservancy had sold two pieces given to it by Sol LeWitt in 2005. The sales raised $1.4 million.

The Art Market Monitor's post about it carried the headline "Madison Park Deaccessions LeWitt Sculptures," which I thought was very clever, because obviously no one has (or could have) any problem with the sale. We can all agree that the Madison Square Park Conservancy is not repulsive. So the case against deaccessioning does not reside in the non-profit status of the selling institution, as some have tried to argue. We recognize that the Madison Square Park Conservancy has a larger mission that can be advanced through the sale of these works. So too with other types of non-profits, like medical schools. So why is it so difficult to admit that museums also have larger missions that can, in the right circumstances, be served through the sale of some work?