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...or maybe not. Detroit Institute of Arts Backs Off Van Gogh Deaccessioning

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on May 14, 2015 at 9:58 AM

The Detroit News ran a story today (in which I'm quoted) about the proposed deaccession of an early Van Gogh from the Detroit Institute of Arts, a topic we've covered recently. Somewhat surprisingly, after the museum made its case for the sale of the painting, those plans have apparently changed. From today's article by Laura Berman concerning director Graham W.J. Beal's statements about the museum's plans:

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Topics: Deaccession, Graham W. J. Beal, Laura Berman, Pamela Marcil, Van Gogh, Detroit Institute of Arts, Museums, Detroit Bankruptcy

Detroit and Deaccessioning—the Museum Responds

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on May 11, 2015 at 8:24 AM

We mused recently about (and tried to clarify) the possible tension between the Detroit Institute of Arts’ successful scuttling of any plans to consider selling its collection to satisfy the city’s debts in the Detroit Bankruptcy. The purpose of the post was not guileful: it seemed likely that many readers might be confused about how Detroit could propose to sell artwork when so much coverage had been addressed to the idea of not selling artwork. In fact, the two ideas are entirely consistent with the consensus of museum governance ethics, but we thought it was an occasion to prompt discussion about the policy behind those ethical guidelines. After all, apart from New York, the rules of deaccessioning are not actually law, they are enforced essentially through collective opprobrium. To facilate that discussion, I quoted Donn Zaretsky, a prominent critic of the status quo, for readers to consider on the one hand, against the guidelines themselves on the other hand.

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Topics: Donn Zaretsky, Deaccession, Detroit bank, Graham W. J. Beal, Randy Kennedy, Deaccessioning, Van Gogh, Detroit Institute of Arts, DIA, Museums, New York Times, Chagall, Detroit Bankruptcy, Art Law Report

Last Call: "Selling the Museum's Collection: Is Deaccessioning Ever Appropriate?" on Monday

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on October 25, 2013 at 12:22 PM

A last reminder that on Monday, there will be a panel discusion at Columbia Law School entited "Selling the Museum's Collection: Is Deaccessioning Ever Appropriate?" From the event description:

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Topics: Donn Zaretsky, Roberta Smith, Deaccession, Pollock-Krasner Foundation, Cornell University, Graham W. J. Beal, Richard Levin, Frank Robinson, Pippa Loengard, the Art Law Report, Events, Selling the Museum's Collection: Is Deaccessioning, Williams College Museum of Art, Nicholas O'Donnell, Rhode Island School of Design, New York Times, Detroit Bankruptcy, Samuel Sachs II, Detroit Institute of Art

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About the Blog

The Art Law Report provides timely updates and commentary on legal issues in the museum and visual arts communities. It is authored by Nicholas M. O'Donnell, partner in our Art & Museum Law Practice.

The material on this site is for general information only and is not legal advice. No liability is accepted for any loss or damage which may result from reliance on it. Always consult a qualified lawyer about a specific legal problem.

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