Sunday, September 18, 2022

Where Were We? (UPDATED)

A few people have been kind enough to ask if everything was ok given the long radio silence around here. Everything is fine -- I've just had the growing sense that Twitter has killed blogging. I still feel that's the case and, as sweet and pleasant and non-toxic as things are over there, I have no intention of getting into the tweeting game. But in the back-to-school September spirit, I thought I might try to get this thing going again, returning to its original purposes of being a place to (1) collect links, to make it easier to find them when needed, (2) think through in real time issues of interest to the art law community, and (3) make fun of the Deaccession Police.

I can't promise how long it will last. Let's see how it goes.

And to kick things off, here's an interesting story that shows how formalistic the deaccession debate can be: 30 works "from an 81-piece-strong trove that was placed under MoMA's stewardship" will be sold at Sotheby's (estimate: $70-100 million) with the sales proceeds going toward "establishing an endowment for digital media and technology at MoMA, as well as towards the museum's 'new strategic acquisitions.'" As the article points out, "as the works were never officially in the collection of MoMA, but rather under its stewardship, the sale cannot be considered an instance of deaccessioning." So if the works had been given to the museum and then sold, it would be an egregious breach of the public trust etc. etc. (unless "establishing an endowment for digital media and technology" can be read as "acquiring more art").  But since the same works were merely under the museum's "stewardship" (whatever that means), it's completely fine.

UPDATE: It didn't stick. I guess we're done here. Thanks to all who've paid attention over the years. It meant a lot to me.