Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Tell me again about the public trust (it's a fire sale at the Metropolitan Museum of Art edition)

Speaking of the repulsive practice of deaccessioning artworks, the NY Post notices that the Met sold more than 3,000 objects last year alone.

That's 3,000 objects that, having fallen under the aegis of a museum, were held in the public trust, to be accessible to present and future generations.

I'm surprised it hasn't led to the dissolution of the museum.

The most interesting thing about the Post article is that we often hear from the Deaccession Police that one reason museums can't sell art is that it upsets donors, who will then be reluctant to give in the future (as I often point out, they never explain why donors don't mind when their works are sold when the proceeds are used to buy more art ... but leave that be for now).  Well, the Post tracked down the great-grandson of a donor of one of the pieces the Met sold ... and he was all for it!  "I would rather think of this being in a private collection or another museum where people can enjoy it," he said, "than in the basement of the Met where no one is going to see it."  Imagine that.