Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Today's Deaccession News

Richard Lacayo says opponents of the Barnes move to Philadelphia had better pick up the pace, because the Barnes is moving full speed ahead. Yesterday it announced that "it has issued a request for qualifications to an extensive group of leading national and international architecture firms." It plans to review the responses in April, select a short list later in the spring, and announce its selection by August 1. According to a Barnes press release, "design will begin immediately, and the site will be prepared from the end of 2007. Construction will start on completion of design work."

Lacayo is not happy with the move:

"It simply will not be possible to 'recreate' the Barnes in a much larger new building on Ben Franklin Parkway .... In an era of big box museums, the Barnes is the ultimate jewel box. The financial problems of the Foundation are real, but the snatch-and-grab solution of relocating the collection to Philadelphia is no solution at all. It isn't salvation. It isn't even euthanasia. It's death by disembowelment."

Lee Rosenbaum agrees.

Meanwhile, writing about the Albright-Knox deaccessioning, Tyler Green wonders: "Is it more important for contemporary art museums to increasingly be as they were, or for them to continue in the spirit of their mission?" The Buffalo News had a lengthy piece on the proposed sale over the weekend. The AP has a summary today: "Next up is a March 12 meeting of museum members .... The 6,000-strong membership does not have the power to override the board of directors' unanimous approval of the plan, [Director Louis] Grachos said, 'but it's an important meeting to have to listen to the broad membership.'"