New York bill to prohibit museums from selling pieces is barely breathing
August 16, 2010
Museums and other cultural institutions hoping to boost nonprofit fundraising and cover costs by selling pieces from their collections will be able to continue to do so after doing battling with the New York Legislature.
A proposed bill that would have broadened regulations to prohibit the sales of artwork to cover operating costs, opposed by cultural heavyweights such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, isnt likely to be passed the New York Times writes.
Generally, the deaccessioning of works of arts has been made to acquire other pieces of art. According to the Times, the practice has attracted an increasing amount of attention since the National Academy Museum sold two Hudson River School paintings in 2008 to cover operating costs, and Brandeis University opted to close its Rose Art Museum and sell the collection.
The Met has called the proposed legislation impractical, unworkable and unneeded. Additionally, the bills Senate sponsor, Jose M. Serrano, told the paper that he retracted his support after realizing that a one-size-fits-all approach was not going to work.
Museums nationwide have reacted to the proposed legislation. Delaware Art Museum curator Margaretta Frederick told the Art Newspaper that the controversy surrounding the bill demonstrated the tensions between the historic definition of museums and the reality of contemporary pressures.