Tuesday, February 08, 2011

"There’s plenty to go around here."

The NYT's Randy Kennedy reports that LACMA and the Getty have "jointly acquired a huge collection of" Mapplethorpe prints, negatives, and letters. Sounds like a part-gift/part-sale, with the total collection valued at over $30 million. The two museums "will collaborate on exhibitions and publications using both the photographs and archives."

I've said this before, but if it's so wonderful for two museums to share a collection (and it is! it is!), then why are people so worked up about the Fisk-Crystal Bridges deal?

Presumably it would not be problematic for Fisk and Crystal Bridges to team up and acquire an important collection, just as the two museums are doing here.

Then why can't they enter into a sharing arrangement after-the-fact? We end up with two museums co-owning a body of work, just as they will here, plus, for those who can be bothered to care about such things, Fisk avoids having to shut its doors. What is repulsive about that?