Thursday, April 24, 2008

"This is it. Now we can celebrate."

I hadn't realized that the "Gross Clinic" story wasn't over, but today brings news that, through the sale of another Eakins painting, the Philadelphia Museum had raised the last of the $68 million that was needed to keep the painting from leaving town.

The buyers were the Denver Art Museum and the Anschutz Collection, so it's a real life example of Adrian Ellis's proposed approach to deaccessioning -- mutually advantageous trades between public institutions. Lewis Sharp, director of the Denver Art Museum, reminds us that there is a flip side to Philadelphia's loss: "To bring a painting of this importance into the community, it is a great thrill." Philadelphia Inquirer art critic Edward Sozanski concedes that the museum "found ideal homes for the Eakins works." So who could object?