Thursday, December 11, 2008

"Is art really this static?" (UPDATED 2X)

Derek Fincham also weighs in on the National Academy deaccessioning, making an interesting comparison with the situation at LA MOCA: "We might point to [MOCA's] financial mismanagement, but how much of this financial difficulty can be focused on the decision to focus on the art itself, on the acclaimed exhibitions. MOCA seems to have focused entirely on the art, and now needs the art world equivalent of a financial bailout. The National Academy has instead chosen to deaccession works ...."

UPDATE: Meanwhile, Lee Rosenbaum has all the latest developments in the National Academy story, including "emergency" proposed legislation by the New York Board of Regents and a letter from the National Academy director to AAMD members "strongly express[ing] our concern about the AAMD's practice of publicly censuring organizations in crisis."

UPDATE 2: An update Monday from Lee on the Board of Regents maneuvering. They've apparently withdrawn the proposed "emergency" amendment: "The new proposed guidelines ... are now even MORE stringent than the deaccession guidelines of the Association of Art Museum Directors. ... The Regents' revised proposed guidelines, to be considered at today's meeting of the Cultural Education Commitee, are more forceful. They state that 'an institution may deaccession an item or material in its collection ONLY [emphasis added] where one or more' of the following criteria are met: The item is not relevant to the institution's mission; it no longer 'retain[s] its identity' (presumably because of condition problems); it is lost or stolen; it is a duplicate not needed for research or educational purposes; the institution lacks the ability to conserve it."