Three paintings which, having fallen under the aegis of a museum, are held in the public trust, to be accessible to present and future generations.
Three paintings whose sale will certainly cause potential future donors to ask, Why should I give this to you? What guarantee do I have that you're not going to sell it?
UPDATE: My friend Peter Dean emails:
"I understand that the museum police have a self-created exception to their self-created rules about de-accessioning, but it does seem a bit odd for an O’Keeffe museum to sell O’Keeffe paintings with the proceeds to be placed in the museum’s acquisitions fund, which will be used to purchase . . what? More O’Keeffe paintings? To fill gaps? We are going in circles.
"Even if one tries to follow the logic of allowing sales to 'refine' a collection, in this case one of the three paintings seems to have especial provenance (display in the White House), value and merit. How does that fit with 'refinement'?"