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Gutting A Collection To Pay The Bills

January 4, 2018

Anna Lea Merritt Watchers of the Strait Gate

It was just announced that the trustees of La Salle University have decided to sell off 46 works of art from their collection to help fund “teaching and learning initiatives”.  As you can guess, this has set off a firestorm of criticism.

According to Chrisite’s (the auction house which plans on selling the works), the total value is between $4.8 and $7.3 million — but we all know how accurate auction room estimates are … not very!  It is sad to see another museum look at their art collections as a way to solve their financial issues.  Plowing money in from the sale of some art is only a short term solution.  It will not be long before they sell other assets and at some point, there will be very little left.


William Trost Richards Rocky Coastline, Cornwall

Among the works being sold are: Anna Lea Merritt’s Watchers of the Strait Gate; Eugène Boudin’s Plougastel – Le Passage du Bac; Jean‐Baptiste‐Camille Corot’s Baptism of Christ, (Study for the painting in the church of St. Nicholas‐du‐Chardonnet 1844‐1845); Domenico Gargiulo Adoration of the Shepherds; Henri Matisse’s Nature Morte au oeufs de Tourterelle; and William Trost Richards’ Rocky Coastline, Cornwall.

In 2017 we saw the James Prendergast Library place a series of paintings at Sotheby’s to help make ends meet … that did not go very well (read our coverage of the 19th century sale in Volume 204).  Then the Berkshire Museum planned on selling 40 works … that is not going very well and is still in limbo … and now La Salle.  Who is next?

You can see a full listing of the works to be sold HERE.

Source: ‘I feel as though the place has been raped’: Criticism of La Salle art sale mounts