Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Now This Is Interesting (UPDATED)

The Buffalo News reports this evening that a (non-binding) motion to block the Albright-Knox's scheduled sale of approximately 200 works was defeated by a nearly 3-to-1 ratio at a members-only meeting Monday. A report earlier in the day noted that four lawsuits have been filed in an attempt to prevent the sale.

UPDATE: Randy Kennedy has a piece on the sale on page 1 of the Arts section of Wednesday's New York Times. (It was apparently filed before the results of the membership vote were announced last night; no mention of the vote totals is made.) He offers this summary of the Buffalo Art Keepers' lawsuit:

"The lawsuit contends that the museum violated its bylaws in deciding to sell and that some sales would also violate the bequests that brought pieces into the collection. It also cites documents from the museum’s history to argue that it has not always seen its mission as exclusively focused on Modern and contemporary work."

The Buffalo News also has more this morning:

"Charles W. Banta, [Albright-Knox] board president, urged that the Buffalo Art Keepers withdraw a lawsuit scheduled to be heard Thursday morning before State Supreme Court Justice Diane Y. Devlin.

"'In light of the overwhelmingly favorable membership vote, we would respectfully request that the Buffalo Art Keepers withdraw this lawsuit,' Banta said in a statement.

"The gallery’s board of directors voted unanimously on Tuesday to reaffirm its earlier decision to sell the antiquities.

"Carl Dennis of Buffalo Art Keepers said the group was planning to go ahead with the court case."

The first of the sales at Sotheby's is scheduled for Tuesday.