Saturday, December 01, 2018

Hail Fredonia?

SUNY Fredonia sold a painting by the Georgian painter Niko Pirosmani for $2.3 million at Sotheby's London this week.

Question:  was this sale "ethical"?  How should the Deaccession Police react to it?

The answer is it depends.  Was the painting held in something the university called a "museum"?  If so, awful, unbearable, a massive crisis, Stalin-esque.

Or was it held other than as part of a university museum -- in which case, all is fine, yawn, nothing to see here.

In this case, according to Inside Higher Ed, the painting was in something called "the Stefan Zweig Collection," which "is not part of a university museum and contains more than just artwork." So nothing to worry about, totally ethical.

You tell me how any of that makes sense as a way to evaluate these sorts of sales.