Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Paper: On Deaccessioning for Operating Expenses

Jonathan Lee Rohner, a candidate in the Master of Arts in the Faculty of Teachers College, Columbia University, has just published a paper on deaccessioning. The paper, Profiting from Paintings and Paying the Price: The Implications of Increased Deaccessioning for General Operating Expenses in U.S. Art Museums, is available for download here. I haven't had time to read it yet, but look forward to analyzing its argument. An abstract is just below.

This essay explores the implications of an increase in deaccessioning by U.S. art museums to pay for general expenses. This type of activity has increased over the past year, exacerbated by the economic recession of 2008-2009. A brief history of U.S. museums is provided, as well as a description of these institutions’ current operating environments. The benefits of deaccessioning and considerations that must be taken into account are also described. Case studies are provided, as are recommendations as to how the U.S. art museum community can avoid the damages of general expense deaccessioning, while remaining flexible enough to allow struggling museums to operate in a difficult financial climate.

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