Friday, February 17, 2012

"It is the very definition of as near as possible." (UPDATED)

Fisk has filed its response to the Tennessee Attorney General's request for permission to appeal.  There's a news story here.  I haven't been able to find a link online, but their brief makes a lot of the same points I've been making here.  For example, I think my absolute favorite part is that there is a whole section headed:  "Arkansas Is In The South."  (That's in response to the AG's bizarre argument that the Crystal Bridges deal "unabashedly eradicates Ms. O'Keeffe's requirements that the Collection ... be used for art education in Nashville and the South.")

In my most recent post on the subject, I asked:  "Wasn't it also part of her intent that Fisk own the works?  After all, she could have given them to anyone, but she chose Fisk.  Why do we assume the no sale part of her intent is more important than the Fisk part of her intent?"  The brief says "the simple fact is O'Keeffe intended for the Collection to be displayed at Fisk" and "O'Keeffe's choice of Fisk to display the Collection was part of her intent.  For Fisk to display the Collection, it must exist" (emphasis added).

They also take on the AG's argument that allowing the Crystal Bridges deal to go through "will chill charitable giving."  First, they point out that the AG's "own expert witness testified that museums do not now accept gifts with no-sale conditions on them"; he apparently testified that "there are two trends in art now," one of which is that "we don't promise ... that something will be kept in perpetuity."  And second, they argue that "if there is anything that would chill charitable giving, it is watching an institution that had been hand-picked by a charitable donor ... stripped of its charitable gift ... so that the gift can be handed off to someone of [the Attorney General's] choosing."

UPDATE:  Here's a link to the brief, courtesy of Lee Rosenbaum.