xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement
Advertisement

Art sale suggests BMA board ‘grossly derelict’ | READER COMMENTARY

Andy Warhol’s “The Last Supper” is one of three painting the Baltimore Museum of Art plans to sell.
Andy Warhol’s “The Last Supper” is one of three painting the Baltimore Museum of Art plans to sell. (Photography BMA / HANDOUT)

It used to be that museums did everything within their power to preserve the cultural materials entrusted to their care. Theft, natural disaster, vandalism and the like were strongly guarded against. Apparently, the Baltimore Museum of Art feels exempt from these concerns (“Baltimore Museum of Art to sell 3 paintings, including Warhol’s ‘The Last Supper,’ to fund diversity initiatives,” Oct. 2). Selling the art they own without preservation protections is tantamount to destroying the work.

When I inquired about the whereabouts of the art sold in 2018, the dutiful response was: “Attached is a list of the 2018 deaccessioned works you are referring to, along with all the information we have regarding each of their sales. Unfortunately, this only includes information such as the sale date and lot number to help you in your searches. The Museum is not provided with information on the buyers. I wish you the best of luck in your research.”

Advertisement

The Baltimore Museum of Art’s board of trustees is grossly derelict in its stewardship duties. We have no idea what will happen to the art once it is selling so irresponsibly. This is not why museums used to exist. What other things are being considered for sale and how can people submit purchase proposals? Will we see prices listed on exhibition labels along with the customary information? How long will the new art to being bought remain at the museum before it too is sold?

As a recently retired museum director with nearly 50 years in the field, I have written on the practice of museums removing collections often. It can be done with the well-being of both the items being jettisoned and the public service mission museums should embody.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Steven Miller, Doylestown, Pa.

Add your voice: Respond to this piece or other Sun content by submitting your own letter.

Recommended on Baltimore Sun

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement