Tuesday, February 08, 2011

One more time, the public trust is not served by having museums shut down

Paddy Johnson has more on the closing of the Jersey City Museum.

She says I "think the museum should deaccession some of its holdings so it can remain open," which I guess is fair enough, though I would amend that slightly to say that I have no idea how deep their troubles run, and whether deaccessioning could save them from closing, but . . . if it could, how could anyone be against it? Paddy mentions that the museum doesn't have any fundraising staff. What if the deaccessioning proceeds could be used to hire some excellent fundraisers? What if a large enough endowment could be established to keep the museum open, and an overwhelming majority of its collection intact? If that's the case, why not consider it?

After all, there's no reason to be so touchy about the works that would be sold. Think of it as a kind of Humane Society: maybe some of the works can be loved by someone else.