“The sale of art by the Berkshire Museum was permitted in the state of Massachusetts in defiance of accepted professional practices and this loss attributed to the lack of legal clarity. Massachusetts has set a new precedent allowing the Berkshire Museum to sell art given to the public due to a loophole in legal protections. The AG and MCC identified that new laws are essential to prevent this from happening to another community.”
Museums, Libraries, Legislators and Citizens – It is our collective responsibility to PROTECT the PUBLIC TRUST!
Berkshire Museum Art Sale
1. NORMAN ROCKWELL– Shuffleton’s Barbershop, painted in 1950.
2. NORMAN ROCKWELL – Blacksmith’s Boy–Heel & Toe (Shaftsbury Blacksmith Shop), painted in 1940.
3. WILLIAM BOUGUEREAU – Les deux soeurs (La Bourrique), painted in 1884.
4. WILLIAM BOUGUEREAU – L’Agneau Nouveau-Né (The Newborn Lamb), painted in 1873.
5. ALBERT BIERSTADT – Giant Redwood Trees of California, painted in 1874.
6. FREDERIC CHURCH – Valley of Santa Isabel, New Granada, painted in 1875.
7. ADRIAEN ISENBRANT – Adam and Eve, Bruges circa 1485-1551.
8. ADRIAEN ISENBRANT – The Flight into Egypt, Bruges circa 1485-1551.
9. FRANCIS PICABIA – Force Comique, watercolor on paper, executed in 1914.
10. LARGE BLUE AND WHITE ‘DRAGON’ VASE, Qing Dynasty, 18th/Early 19th century.
11. THOMAS MORAN – The Last Arrow, painted in 1867
12. CHARLES WILLSON PEALE – Portrait of General David Forman, painted in 1784
13. REMBRANDT PEALE – George Washington painted in 1795
14. JOHN LA FARGE – Magnolia, painted in 1860
15. GEORGE DURRIE – Hunter in Winter Wood, painted in 1860
16. THOMAS DEWING – The White Dress, painted in 1921
17. CHARLES DAUBIGNY – Paysans allant aux champs (Le Matin) (1817-1878).
18. BENJAMIN WEST – Daniel interpreting to Belshazzar the handwriting on the wall, painted in 1775
19. HENRY MOORE – Three Seated Women, executed in 1942
20. A TEN-PANEL COROMANDEL ‘BIRTHDAY’ SCREEN, Qing Dynasty, Kangxi Period, dated Jisi Year, corresponding to 1689
21. ALEXANDER CALDER –Dancing Torpedo Shape, executed in 1932
22. ALEXANDER CALDER – Double Arc & Sphere, executed circa 1932
“One of the most fundamental and long-standing principles of the museum field is that a collection is held in the public trust and must not be treated as a disposable financial asset. Selling from the collection for purposes such as capital projects or operating funds not only diminishes the core of works available to the public, it erodes the future fundraising ability of museums nationwide. Such a sale sends a message to existing and prospective donors that museums can raise funds by selling parts of their collection, thereby discouraging not only financial supporters, who may feel that their support isn’t needed, but also donors of artworks and artifacts, who may fear that their cherished objects could be sold at any time to the highest bidder to make up for a museum’s budget shortfalls. That cuts to the heart not only of the Berkshire Museum, but every museum in the United States.”American Alliance of Museums & Association of Art Museum Directors