Wednesday, January 06, 2010

"The Fresno Metropolitan Museum closed its doors for good Tuesday, its ambitious dreams crushed by unsustainable financial losses"

The Fresno Bee has the story here.

The Deaccessioning Blog: Am I Right? Or Am I Right?

I'll just add one quick point regarding the "moral hazard" argument against deaccessioning (which I alluded to Monday). I don't know to what extent, if any, sales of art could have solved the Fresno Museum's problems, but the logic of the "moral hazard" position is that we have to accept the loss of this museum (and, if The Deaccessioning Blog is right, perhaps as many as nine others in the near future) for the greater good of improving museum management generally (the argument being that, by taking the sale option off the table, the people who run our museums will be better motivated to properly manage them and, in the process, save their jobs; they can't just squander their resources and then look to sales of art to bail them out). That strikes me as a high cost to pay for the speculative benefits the no-deaccessioning regime is supposed to provide. We're losing something very real here. Are we confident that it's a price worth paying?