Last week, I failed to mention this October 11 letter from the Virginia Association of Museums to Randolph College--in which Randolph rightly gets slapped around a bit:
The purpose of this letter is to convey the position of the Virginia Association of Museums (VAM) concerning the recent decision made by the Randolph College Board of Trustees to remove George Bellows’ Men of the Docks; Edward Hicks’ A Peaceable Kingdom; Ernest Martin Hennings’ Through the Arroyo; and Rufino Tamayo’s Troubador from the collection of the Maier Museum of Art, and to place them at auction to expand the College’s operating endowment. It is the position of the Council (board of directors) of VAM that the removal and sale of these paintings constitute a grievous blow to the professional integrity and ethical standards of the Maier Museum of Art, and by extension to Randolph College.
It is VAM’s view that the sale of artworks from the Maier Museum collection, while appearing to offer the prospect of immediate financial gain, will ultimately do more harm than good,both to the Museum and to the College. Reputable museums, including the Maier, operate as stewards of artistic,historical,and scientific collections, held in the public trust. When any part of a museum ’s collection is disposed of in an unprofessional or unethical manner, that public trust is violated. Further, the precedent set by such an action may be prejudicial to the efforts of other museums, in Virginia and elsewhere, to secure donations of objects for their collections.
I wonder if another bogus bomb threat would help.