Tuesday, February 12, 2008


Lee Rosenbaum has more on the decision rejecting Fisk's proposal to share the Stieglitz Collection with the Crystal Bridges Museum.

Of all the strange aspects of the case, two stand out to me as the strangest.

The first is timing, or chronology. If it's contrary to O'Keeffe's intentions that any part of the Collection be sold, fine -- but then what have we been doing all this time? Why wasn't that finding made right at the beginning of the case? And how to explain the court's September ruling rejecting a proposed deal with the O'Keeffe Museum "in light of the possibility of securing a more advantageous solution with Crystal Bridges"? What was that about?

The other issue has to do with the O'Keeffe Museum's status as the successor to O'Keeffe. If this really is a matter of donor intent, then why couldn't the museum agree to waive this or that condition of the gift? I mean, if O'Keeffe were alive, and she had worked out a deal with Fisk like the one the museum, as her successor, worked out in the fall -- what sense would it make to say that deal was contrary to O'Keeffe's intent? She's the one making the deal. And if that's right, why should it be any different for the O'Keeffe Museum as her successor?

What am I missing?