Wednesday, July 16, 2014

"Anyone who looks upon DIA as an ATM will be in for a shock."

I know. I haven't been posting here often but probably because, to be completely honest, the deaccessioning battle has pretty much been boiled down to sell and don't sell. There's very little interesting "stuff" being written about the philosophical aspects of relinquishing art and cultural objects for money, so why continue to simply post about institutions that do or do not do it, and those that get chastised for doing it.

Especially when bloggers like Donn Zaretsky have pretty much eviscerated the "public trust" argument to a myopic piece of Deathstar dust. Donn's got great arguments on his blog, and they're not knee-jerk reactions like the ones we tend to get from the deaccessioning police or, as I like to call them, those that shriek a deaccessioning fatwa. Check him out.

Meanwhile, Detroit. Yeah, what's up with Detroit? Here's a nice little argument from Eric Gibson of the WSJ arguing that creditors and pensioners should take what's on the table now given the unpredictable nature of the contemporary art market.

Hmmm, maybe. What do you think?
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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Deaccessioning in a Nutshell

A nice and brief overview of the current state of deaccessioning...and the pitfalls, via Charles and Thomas Danziger. Nice hypo!
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Monday, March 31, 2014

Portugal Ponders the Sale of Their Joan Miró Paintings

Or I should say, the deaccessioning. Portugal is trying to pay off it's $110 billion debt, but if the Miró paintings only brought in $50 million or so, what kind of dent would that even make?

Via the paper of record.
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Saturday, January 18, 2014

Christopher Knight on LA MoCA's New Director and Deaccessioning

LA Times Art Critic Christopher Knight discusses LA MoCA's new director, Jules Vergne, and deaccessioning.
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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

To sell or not to sell?

Should the Detroit Institute of Art's collection, or at least 5% of it, be sold?

The Journal Times says "yes."

The Daily Caller says "yes," and add Belle Isle to the mix. On why the art should be sold, "Sure, the DIA is a wonderful feature for the midwestern city. But even more charming is a city with streetlights that work, garbage that is collected, and a police force that can keep a city safe."

We will know the value of 5% of the collection tomorrow.
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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Christie's values Detroit's art collection between $452 and $866 million

Yep. That's million. Guess they don't have any Francis Bacons lying around, just a few masterpieces by Bruegel, van Gogh and Cézanne.

Today, Christie's said it has appraised some of the Detroit Institute of Arts' collection and said the works had a fair market value of $452 million to $866 million. It also suggested five alternatives to selling, which would allow the city to benefit financially while keeping the DIA collection intact.

And what are those five alternatives? Let's just say the first one is, as some say, robbing Peter to pay Paul (is that the quote?). Detroit can use the collection as collateral for loans, and given Detroit's impeccable history in paying off debts this will most likely get the vote for best solution.

File this under "Great solutions in history."
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Let them eat art!

Something tells me this is much ado about nothing, but here goes.

Yesterday (it's now officially 12:39am), federal judge Steven J. Rhodes ruled that the city of Detroit is eligible to file for bankruptcy.

What does this mean? Not much, unless you live in Detroit, you care about maintaining a romantic outlook on art, or you're in the business of buying and selling art. In all seriousness, what this means is that theoretically speaking the Detroit Institute of Art's collection could be auctioned off in part or in its entirety to help pay off the city's debts.

Why do I italicize "theoretically"? Because if you actually believe that that fire sale would happen then you are also likely to believe that the state of Texas would allow Jerry Jones to relocate the Dallas Cowboys to the state of Alabama.

This is actually quite sad. That contemporary art has come down not to art making or its content, but rather to the creation of drama by idle individuals about the extremely remote possibility of selling "canonical" works of Western art. Hysteria is more like it.

Here's a very stupid question: why would a city with an exodus of residents and engulfed in poverty, decaying architecture and unpaid bills want to sell off all or any of its city's art collection? I mean, this isn't Venezuela.
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