Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Nine into one

I mentioned earlier this week that the Philadelphia Museum of Art is deaccessioning nine works that it holds in the public trust to be accessible to present and future generations.

What I didn't catch was that the proceeds from the sale of those nine works are being used to buy a work from another museum, the Atwater Kent Museum, which in turn is using the sales proceeds from its sale "to cover a $1.4 million construction loan."

It's a nice example of the absurdity of the Standard View on deaccessioning.

Financially stable large museum sells off nine works:  absolutely fine.

Small museum drowning in debt sells off a single work:  deplorable.  (For example.)

The only difference is the use of proceeds, but no one has ever explained why one use of proceeds (buying ever more art) is privileged over all others.

Or did I miss that?