Controversial art sales by cash-strapped museum raise $2M for capital expenses

The works sold in this week's auction came from the beleaguered Berkshire Museum's collection

TRD WEEKEND EDITION /
May.May 19, 2018 02:13 PM

From left: Francis Picabia, the Berkshire Museum, Sotheby’s. (Credit from left: cea +/ Flickr; Berkshire Museum/Wikimedia Commons; Nelson Pavlosky)

Liquidating assets by auctioning off a painting or two seems routine unless the seller is an art museum.

Last summer, the Berkshire Museum made the decision to auction off pieces of its collection in order to raise millions for to pay for capital upgrades, strengthen its collection and essentially keeping the lights on, according to the New York Times.

The museum’s decision drew widespread opposition as many of the items to be sold were long-time local favorites, such as painting by Norman Rockwell and sculpture by Alexander Calder among others. Both locals, other museums and art experts have characterized the sales as a breach of the institution’s mission, but the museum pressed on, with the first rounds of auctions at Sotheby’s occurring this week.

According to the Berkshire Eagle, more than $2 million were raised in two auctions where three pieces–two paintings by artists Francis Picabia and Henry Moore as well as a Calder sculpture–were sold. The Times reported that up to 36 other pieces of art are in the pipeline to be sold until the museum reaches a court-ordered maximum of $55 million. [NYT]Erin Hudson


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son (Credit: Getty Images)

SoftBank’s $3B payout to WeWork’s investors is delayed

Clockwise from left: 5203-5207 Church Avenue in Brooklyn, 119-40 Metropolitan Avenue in Queens, 855 East 217th Street in the Bronx and 31-35 Steinway Street in Queens (Credit: Google Maps)

Going once, Going twice! Rent-stabilized portfolio hits auction block

John Legere (Credit: Getty Images)

WeWork reportedly in talks to hire T-Mobile exec as CEO

(Credit: iStock)

Small Talk: Every community meeting. About every development project. Ever.

An example of roll-off waste management (Credit: YouTube, iStock)

A win for big building owners in trash-collection fight

Duke Long and Poshtel International CEO Morten Lund

“I can talk about erections all day”: NAR tech consultant’s bizarre fireside chat

Council member Vanessa Gibson (Credit: New York City Council)

Commercial landlords face new fines as City Council passes anti-harassment bill

From left: Pavel Fuks, Michael Cohen, Felix Sater, and Donald Trump (Credit: Getty Images and Wikipedia)

As House begins impeachment inquiry, here’s what we know about Trump’s Ukraine-real estate ties

arrow_forward_ios