Tuesday, July 19, 2011

In the public trust

The Art Newspaper reports that the Detroit Institute of Arts is "diverting the interest from acquisitions endowments to balance the museum’s budget."

Interestingly, the DIA's director is Graham Beal, who not too long ago was "cement[ing] his status as the field's most articulate spokesperson against desperation deaccessions" by insisting that "the institution is there to safeguard the art. The art is not there to support the institution."  (I guess the art isn't there to support the institution, but the art acquisitions fund is!)

The article emphasizes that Beal received permission from the donors of the relevant funds (or, more precisely, their estates/families).  Could the same approach be used to deaccession work?  Is getting permission from a "deceased donor's family" all it takes?