Frederic Edwin Church’s “Scene on the Magdalene” was recently sold by the National Academy Museum to raise money. Image and caption via Health Care Fine Art.
Normally, I’m not so big on Art Fag City, but this time they hit the nail almost entirely on the head. It was like a 75% hit with no bending. Probably because it’s an intern who wrote it and not the usual…anywho. Here we have it.
On the subject of a New York Times article titled, Bill Would Limit How New York Museums Could Use Money From Sales of Artworks, Art Fag City intern Karen Archey has this to say:
A shortsighted article on deaccessioning work from museums to pay operating costs. The government may pass a bill that puts strict regulations on deaccessioning art, yet museums are struggling to pay their bills from a lack of government and private support. What Pogrebin didn’t mention is that oftentimes museums are “forced” to accept additional donations with major donations (like 50 of your aunt’s paintings paired with one Koons) so the donor will get additional tax write-offs. Thus, the museum has to pay the overhead for the 50 bad paintings to be able to get the Koons, but can’t deaccession them even years later because of laws like this. via…
While this is completely on point, it neglects to acknowledge the
rich as shit old people patrons who put these bills into motion for the “the benefit of our future generations” while fresh, smart, eager graduates working in archiving or conservation that get laid off because the Institution can’t cover the expense of having them on staff.
The truth is in every Museum, gallery, and even personal collections, are going to be some pieces that will stay, in the dark, stored away, never to be seen again. They aren’t as relevant to the program anymore, or personal taste, or change in curators, and it is destined to be tucked away and forgotten. These pieces, while no longer applicable to the current curatorial intentions, might be just perfect for some wealthy woman’s entryway, the waiting room for someone’s office, or the permanent collection of another museum.
My point is, that while it might not be the most ideal situation to deaccession one’s collection, there is an inherent advantage in having that art and it is expensive and silly to keep pieces just for the sake of keeping them.
April 10, 2009, 3:42pm