Thursday, March 26, 2009

"Some works will be sold at Christie’s spring auctions"

Carol Vogel's latest "Inside Art" column reports that the Montclair Art Museum has "decided to begin aggressively deaccessioning ... artwork, costumes, rugs and books."

In other words: it's selling objects that, we are solemnly told, it holds "in trust" for the public, in this case the dear citizens of Montclair, New Jersey.

And it is doing so aggressively.

Among the objects previously held in trust but soon to be aggressively deaccessioned is a "classic" 1951 Pollock drawing. (The museum's director wonders if "it really matters if we have a Pollock drip when you can take a bus and be in the city in 20 minutes, where you can see lots of work by Pollock.")

And here's the kicker: although the proceeds will be used to acquire other work, "what the museum hopes to buy in its place has yet to be decided."

So let's review the bidding.

Selling a couple of paintings to keep a 183-year old museum from closing its doors? The Worst Thing In The World. Horrible beyond words. Intolerable.

Aggressively selling off numerous objects -- including a "classic" Pollock -- in order to buy other work that hasn't even been identified? Not a problem. Not a dirty word. Sell away!

Does this really make sense to anybody?