Save the Art – Save the Museum Group Continues Efforts to Save the Art at the Berkshire Museum

Press Release – Save the Art
February 28, 2018

The citizens’ group Save the Art – Save the Museum (STA) announced today that its efforts to save the art at the Berkshire Museum are not over.

When the Attorney General stepped in to pause the sale and investigate the Museum, STA endorsed the process. But the group remains troubled by the outcome: a proposed settlement that allows for the sale of Norman Rockwell’s Shuffleton’s Barbershop to an as yet unnamed institution for an undisclosed amount and permits the unrestricted sale of the other 39 works of art, all without scrutiny or oversight.

This proposed agreement between the Attorney General and the Museum will be accepted, rejected, or modified by the Supreme Judicial Court. Two amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) briefs have been filed in opposition by Berkshire citizens, and an active appeal asserting the right of museum members to protest the sale awaits a hearing date. STA vigorously supports these eloquent statements, which explain in detail why the group opposes the Berkshire Museum’s extravagant and unnecessary “New Vision” and disputes the AGO’s proposed agreement that would allow it to go forward. For more information, see legal filings on our website.

“No matter the outcome, the course this case has taken will be precedent setting for all museums, charities, and not for profits in Massachusetts and throughout the country,” said Leslie Ferrin, one of the group’s leaders.

Leslie Ferrin, founder of Save the Art

STA has resumed its GoFundMe campaign to raise funds to support these legal efforts and continue its public outreach.

STA also continues to advocate for a public forum where the community can engage with the Museum in frank, open communication about the Museum’s future and that of the art treasures that given in the Museum’s care to the people of Pittsfield and Berkshire County.


A grassroots citizens group established in 2017 with the intent of stopping the sale of the Berkshire Museum’s treasured art collection in order to find an alternate solution to its continued financial shortfall.


The mission of Save the Art is to advocate for and protect the Public Trust — the art and objects belonging to all of us that document humankind’s creative and social history through time.


We thank the Berkshire Eagle for their extensive investigative coverage, the journalists, op-ed writers and our community for their hundreds of letters of concern. In particular, STA applauds Larry Parnass, Investigations Editor, Berkshire Eagle, for his excellent coverage of the Berkshire Museum and achievement of the 2018 Outstanding Journalism award from the New England Newspaper and Press Association.