BMA is a museum, not a mausoleum | READER COMMENTARY
For The Baltimore Sun|
Oct 27, 2020 at 2:18 PM
I, too, was aghast at first at the deaccessioning at the Baltimore Museum of Art, though I’d always thought the super-Aryan Christ in Andy Warhol’s painting (not so much the silk screen piece) was on the borderline of obscene. And I’ve always prayed — literally prayed — not to keep on seeing both sides of significant issues. That said, and said as an octogenarian who started going to the BMA every Saturday morning all by myself from age 10 until my late teens to say hi to the unwrapped mummy and the little girl Degas dancer and attend art classes, I now am on the side of not turning a museum into a mausoleum (“BMA critics missing the point about attempts to be more inclusive,” Oct. 16).
There needs to be space — and an audience — for new work. I felt the same way, first aghast, then solidly pro, when the English curricula at my beloved Towson University, where I taught for 40 years, were modified by deleting a few greats and adding a few greats.
OK, maybe some donors will not donate works for fear that said works may be deaccessioned someday. Perhaps it is important to think about the concept of donating. When a gift is given, it belongs to the recipient. I can give my daughter a valuable piece of jewelry somebody gave me decades ago because now it is mine.