Monday, November 20, 2017

Are works owned by public libraries held in the public trust?

If not, why not?

The New York Times reports on a library in Jamestown, N.Y. that "says it needs to sell most of the 50-odd works in its collection to make ends meet, an especially formidable task, it said, since the city has slashed its budget over the last few years."

One interesting twist in the case: a couple of "art patrons" had "proposed keeping the collection in Jamestown by buying about 40 of the works for $1.2 million and finding a new home for them in the city" -- but the Attorney General turned them down!  The AG "objected to a private sale without testing whether the paintings might actually bring in more if sold through public auction."