When is it okay for a museum to deaccession art?

BildeThere’s troubling news about Fisk University in Nashville selling their most important paintings: one by Georgia O’Keeffe and a second by Marsden Hartley.

It’s a terribly sticky situation. Museum directors will be appalled and it could create great difficulty for the University when they seek new gifts and donations. Would you give your art to a museum or institution if you knew, in the future, they might deaccession it to raise funds? At the same time, does it make sense for a university that doesn’t have an accredited museum to hold onto these important works? And what role should the donor’s original intent play in the decision? (O’Keeffe gave both works as part of the Stieglitz Collection gift.)

Tyler Green blogged about it in Modern Art Notes.

Image: Georgia O’Keeffe, Radiator Building. Collection Fisk University.

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2 comments to When is it okay for a museum to deaccession art?

  • Gerald Morgan

    A small inrollment private school sees this as a way to build and pay for neccessities. The collection is still strong afer this sale but one has to wonderwhere this attitude ends. More sales later?

  • Gerald Morgan

    A small inrollment private school sees this as a way to build and pay for neccessities. The collection is still strong afer this sale but one has to wonder where this attitude ends. More sales later?