Thursday, April 23, 2009

"A museum dedicated to the artist Henry Varnum Poor won’t open here for years, but already its collection is shrinking"

Eve Kahn has the story in today's New York Times. Apparently, the town of Ramapo, N.Y. paid $1.3 million ("including $500,000 from the state") to buy Poor's home in a neighboring town a couple of years ago. (Poor died in 1970.) But it seems Poor's son, Peter, who is in his 80s, "still owns the contents of [the house], and he has begun selling major pieces or donating them to museums." Peter says the "people who run the town have known from the beginning that I could remove anything at any time. I have letters confirming that." A town official counters that the parties signed an "interim agreement" in 2008 stating that "the parties wish to provide for the contents to remain in the house" -- though obviously it's a long way from "wish" to "promise."