Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Tell me again about the public trust (Clark Sickle-Leaf Carpet edition)

The Corcoran sold a Persion rug at Sotheby's for more than $30 million today.  James Panero says it's "first-rate work that has been in the collection since 1925."

Look.  I obviously enjoy calling them out for their hypocrisy, but this is a serious point.  Works in museum collections ARE NOT HELD IN THE PUBLIC TRUST.  They're just not.  And it's not me telling you that; it's the museums themselves, by their actions.

You can't sell this first-rate work for $30 million and then turn around and tell me, when I want to sell another work (to keep from going out of business, or to pay creditors, or to avoid laying off staff, and so on) that I can't do so because it's held in the public trust.  If my work is held in the public trust, why wasn't yours?  Why wasn't this Persian rug held in the public trust?

Why are we still having this conversation?

Why does anybody take the slightest bit seriously the dopey letter the AAMD issued the other day about Detroit?

I've been saying for four years that they need better talking points.  I'm still waiting.