Friday, April 24, 2020

"Against Deaccessioning Rules" (UPDATED)

Forthcoming in the Creighton Law Review, from Deaccessioning Hall of Fame Scholar-in-Residence (and conceptual law professor) Brian Frye.

UPDATE: More from Frye here:

"Deaccessioning rules also have the unfortunate consequence of occasionally causing distressed museums to go bankrupt and dissolve, despite sitting on collections of enormously valuable artwork. The deaccessioning police' argue that this is all as it should be, and that museums should go out of business, rather than doing something as 'repulsive' as selling a work of art in order to save the institution. I find their argument ... comically weak. And I am hardly alone. Most notably, Donn Zaretsky of The Art Law Blog has been lampooning it mercilessly for years. To be honest, it's a bit like shooting fish in a barrel, given that the deaccessioning police cannot seem to provide even a colorably coherent explanation of why it is repulsive to sell a work of art for the purpose of saving a museum, but totally fine to sell a work of art because the museum wants to own a different one."