Thursday, February 09, 2017

"If you are not going to charge for admission you have to find a way to support it."

Charles Saatchi is selling off 100 works from his art collection to help fund free admission to his gallery.

Of course, if a U.S. museum did this in order to provide free admission, there would be rioting in the streets. As Tim Schneider points out:

"Saatchi's sell-off represents one clear advantage their founders hold over public nonprofit institutions. In the US, influential professional associations like the AAMD ... hold that it's cultural sacrilege to deaccession even a single work to cover operational costs, let alone more than one... despite that they also judge it A-OK to divest pieces in order to bankroll new acquisitions. ...  That may not make private museums better places to appreciate art than public ones. But in at least one important respect, it does empower them to run as better businesses."