Museum Groups Condemn La Salle for Selling Art

January 8, 2018

The American Alliance of Museums and the Association of Art Museum Directors on Friday issued a joint statement condemning a plan by La Salle University to sell 43 paintings from its collection, in the hope of raising $7 million. The university, facing a budget deficit, says it needs the money for a range of purposes.

The statement from the museum groups notes their longstanding opposition to the selling of art in museum collections, except in limited circumstances. "College and university art museums have a long and rich history of collecting, curating and educating in a financially and ethically responsible manner on par with the world’s most prestigious institutions," the statement said. "A different governance structure does not exempt a university museum from acting ethically, nor permit them to ignore issues of public trust and use collections as disposable financial assets. This is a fundamental ethical principle of the museum field, one which all institutions are obligated to respect: in no event shall funds from deaccessioned works be used for anything other than support for a museum’s collections."

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