November 17, 2010
Two years ago, the Brooklyn Museum transferred items that had fallen outside the scope of its collection to the Metropoltian Museum of Art. The deal had been praised as an example of collection-sharing and as a means of avoiding deaccessioning. However, it has recently emerged that the Met sold the items at auction and gave the proceeds back to the Brooklyn Museum.
Lee Rosenbaum, of CultureGrrl, believes that the deal was in violation of the Association of Art Museum Directors’ Policy on Deaccessioning. She criticizes the institutions for their lack of transparency. Read her take on the issue here.
Donn Zaretsky, of the Art Law Blog, doesn’t believe that the deal fell foul of accepted practices. Furthermore, he is critical of the Standard view of Deaccessioning. The belief that “sales to buy more art, totally fine; sales for any other reason, repulsive — leads people to do a lot of funny things.” Read his response here.