Tuesday, April 21, 2009

More on Montclair

On the subject of olfactory testing, let me just add that I always found Carol Vogel's initial story on the Montclair deaccessioning a little odd. It began:

"Like most museums around the country, the Montclair Art Museum ... is grappling with a dwindling endowment (a 25 percent decline since July) and rising operating costs. It has already cut the staff’s hours, reduced the head count to 44 from 57 and slashed total operating expenses by around $500,000."

It then immediately segued into the following:

"But what the institution is doing that few others would dare is starting a capital campaign drive in anticipation of its centennial in 2014. It has also decided to begin aggressively deaccessioning [objects] that have rarely been seen by the public or are no longer consistent with the institution’s mission" (emphasis added).

But from an AAMD point of view, what does one thing have to do with the other? What is the connection between a "dwindling endowment and rising operating costs," on the one hand, and a decision to begin deaccessioning, on the other? If you're just replacing one set of objects with another (as the AAMD rules require you to do), then how does the deaccessioning help address your financial issues?

I wouldn't say my eyes bugged out reading it, but it did strike me as a little curious.