A minor New York museum, the National Academy, plans to sell two paintings. The sale is conditioned on agreement to display the works, and they’re doing it to be able to show more art to more people (like most museums, they have vaults full of stuff that never sees the light of day), indeed to be able to survive as a going institution.
Government art subsidies are going into a very lean period, of course.
If you think managing a collection so more people can actually see more paintings, (or that museums should stay in business rather than close) is a benighted and evil way to behave, you will be glad to know that the Association of Art Museum Directors is on your side, and has waxed apoplectic over the Academy’s shocking idea. It’s a lonely business the AAMD is in, constantly beating back a wave of unwashed philistines who think it matters whether anyone but a curator with a key to the reserves sees a painting. If you want to thank them for protecting you from actually encountering any of the Academy’s sequestered works, you could start with Millicent Gaudieri, the Executive Director: AAMD, 120 East 56th Street, Suite 520 New York, NY 10022, 212-754-8084. The AAMD appears not to have made its peace with email yet.