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Suit against Berkshire Museum art sales to be argued before appeals court Sept. 4

Larry Parnass, The Berkshire Eagle
August 14, 2018

PITTSFIELD — Lawyers for the Berkshire Museum aren’t quite done defending its art sales — even as those transactions near completion.

They’ll come before three Massachusetts Appeals Court justices in early September, working to fend off a lawsuit against the museum and its trustees that dates back to the start of legal action 10 months ago.

Save the Art Continues Opposition to Berkshire Museum Art Sale

A few dozen people opposed to the art sale rallied outside of the Berkshire Museum on Saturday.

Andy McKeever, iBerkshires
July 14, 2018

PITTSFIELD — Tom Patti considered it a compliment to have his art in the same building as Norman Rockwell and Alexander Calder.

The Berkshire Museum had commissioned his work at the entrance, the foyer, and in three other locations. But now, Patti doesn’t feel that the museum values local artists.

Save the Art to Host July 14th Rally Calling on Museum to Halt Further Sales of Art, Increase Transparency

Press Release – Save the Art
July 14, 2018

Save the Art – Save the Museum invites the public to a July 14th rally in front of the Berkshire Museum at 39 South Street, Pittsfield, MA, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The protest rally will call on the museum to halt further sales of its art, and to be more open and transparent in its planning for the future.

Continue reading “Save the Art to Host July 14th Rally Calling on Museum to Halt Further Sales of Art, Increase Transparency”

July 14th Rally Calls on Museum to Halt Further Sales of Art, Restore Original Mission

July 11, 2018
Announcement from STA

Save the Art – Save the Museum invites the public to a July 14th rally in front of the Berkshire Museum at 39 South Street, Pittsfield, MA, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to protest further sales of art that continue to erode the museum’s founding mission.

Continue reading “July 14th Rally Calls on Museum to Halt Further Sales of Art, Restore Original Mission”

Activists Continue to Protest Berkshire Museum Art Sales

The billboard, which can be found along South Street in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, that an activist group paid for to rally support for the fight to save 9 Berkshire Museum artworks from being sold. ©2018 Photo: Gillian Jones for the Berkshire Eagle. 

Artforum, July 3, 2018

Critics of the Berkshire Museum’s controversial deaccessioning plan have not given up on the fight to save the institution’s artworks. Located in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, the museum first announced that it was going to auction off works to bolster its endowment and fund a renovation project in the summer of last year. Since then, the museum industry has been up in arms over the plan—it is considered unethical for an art institution to use the proceeds from the sale of artworks for anything other than acquisitions.

Van Shields, proponent of controversial art sales, bows out at Berkshire Museum

Larry Parnass, The Berkshire Eagle
June 28, 2018

PITTSFIELD — After taking the helm at the Berkshire Museum in 2011, Van Shields surprised his new colleagues by talking about “monetizing” the Pittsfield institution’s collection.

It took six years, but talk brought results: The museum holds $47 million in proceeds from recent art sales, with another $8 million expected. It seems a “mission accomplished” moment for Shields — and on that note he’ll bow out.

Berkshire Museum plans to sell 9 more works, bringing total to 22

Albert Bierstadt’s Giant Redwood Trees of California – 1874. A gift to museum from founder Zenas Crane III.

Larry Parnass, The Berkshire Eagle
June 25, 2018

PITTSFIELD — Nine more Berkshire Museum works will be sold in coming months, the institution said Monday, in a drive to reach the full $55 million in proceeds allowed by an April court ruling. 

Seven of the works will be sold in private transactions rather than auctions in an attempt to place them with new owners who will preserve public access. 

Berkshire Museum takes steps to improve ‘best practices,’ art sales net $47 million

Larry Parnass, The Berkshire Eagle
June 20, 2018

PITTSFIELD — Four months after their landmark accord, key points of dispute between the Berkshire Museum and the Attorney General’s Office are back in play.

This time, the “people’s lawyer” is securing pledges of managerial reform from the museum, as the office fulfills its statutory role as overseer of nonprofits and public charities.

Bonus Episode: Berkshire Museum Deaccessioning Begins

Your hosts, Steve Schindler & Katie Wilson-Milne

New York City, June 11, 2018

Katie and Steve give an update on the first round of auction sales as part of the Berkshire Museum’s court sanctioned deaccessioning plan.  They discuss the results of the sales, the museum’s current stance, and where that leaves us (hint: dissatisfied).