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While Drawing Protests, Deaccessioning Continues

May 10, 2021
landscape with ruins, cows and people

Thomas Cole

Throughout the pandemic, we have read stories about museums in financial trouble and how some have resorted to selling works to cover costs. Hopefully, we are getting closer to allowing them to open fully; however, some are still looking to cash in while they can.

The Newark Museum of Art has jumped in and will attempt to sell a group of 19th & 20th century works at Sotheby’s this month. Their decision has sparked outrage and protests from historians, curators, and researchers across the country. The sale takes place on May 19th and will include works by Albert Bierstadt, Mary Cassatt, Burgoyne Diller, Thomas Eakins, Marsden Hartley, Childe Hassam, Thomas Moran, Georgia O’Keeffe, Frederic Remington, and Charles Sheeler. In all, they are offering 11 works with a combined estimate range of $3.95-5.77M.

While looking through the sale, I also discovered that the Palm Springs Art Museum is selling two works, one by Fechin ($120-180K) and the other by Gaspard ($60-80K). The San Diego Museum of Art is also selling a Fechin ($200-300K), and the Brooklyn Museum is selling a Cassatt ($1-1.5M). The entire sale only consists of 61 lots, 15 of which (about 25%) are from museums. Guess it shows you how difficult it is to get material.

Anyway, we will update you once the sale has finished.

Source: As a Sotheby’s auction looms, scholars protest Newark Museum of Art’s plan to sell a Thomas Cole painting and other works