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Photo Courtesy of Gillian Jones ©2017 / The Berkshire Eagle

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.

Mission Statement
Museums, historical societies, libraries, and related non-profits are entrusted to hold collections belonging to all of us — they are our common patrimony, acquired or gifted for the express purpose of educating and enriching the lives of everyone. Linking us across cultures and time, they attest to our common humanity, deepen our understanding of the past, and offer a road map for future generations to build upon in perpetuity. Current economic, social, and political conditions increasingly pressure institutions to divest of art and objects to shore up their finances. This puts the Public Trust in danger, as it often results in the transfer of beloved and culturally important objects into private hands, removing them from public view. The sale of the Berkshire Museum’s most valuable art garnered national news coverage for this reason. It is a warning to concerned citizens that it is our collective responsibility to make our voices heard, to protect what belongs to all of us—the Public Trust.
the 40 art works shipped to Sotheby's


The Save the Art website provides an historical record of the Berkshire Museum’s actions beginning the summer of 2017, when its trustees publicly announced that Pittsfield’s valuable art and historic heritage was contracted for sale at Sotheby’s. It documents and archives the events leading to this action, as well as the financial backdrop, protests, legal suits, and extensive print coverage following.

The sale of the Berkshire Museum’s art collection irreparably divided the Berkshire community and caused repercussions nationwide to the present, when economic fallout from a global pandemic puts the Public Trust in ever-greater danger.

It is our hope that this website will assist other institutions, communities, legal professionals, researchers, and interested citizens who face related issues and challenges, well into the future.