Here's another sign as to how strict (and emotional) anti-deaccessionist rules only foster creative ways as to how museums sell art from their collection for fund-raising purposes.
The "new" way? The city of Denver may sell four Still paintings to fund a major operations endowment to ensure the Clifford Still Museum's long-term viability. Isn't this move prohibited by the AAMD and anti-deaccessionists?
Clyfford Still Museum director Dean Sobel believes the established AAMD anti-deaccessioning guidelines do not apply to it. Why? According to The Denver Post, it's a technicality.
The privately funded museum, which is set to open late next year, has not yet officially taken possession of the pieces. They were bequeathed to the city of Denver when Still's widow, Patricia, died in 2005. The museum petitioned a Maryland county court on Nov. 3 to permit the estate of Patricia Still, which has yet to be distributed, to release the four works early — before the formal transfer of ownership occurs.
[T]he museum believes the good outweighs any bad. The money would create a major endowment that would assure the museum's long-term financial viability. It would cover not only exhibition costs and general expenses but also publications, research and symposia that would ensure it a key place in American art scholarship.
According to Sobel, the four Still paintings are to be sold as a group, and only to another museum. The rest of the story, and a great Q&A regarding possible outcomes is available via The Denver Post here.