NY Museums in Financial Stress Allowed to Sell Artwork

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

outside of the Met Museum outside of the Met Museum (sandyb29a/flickr)

New York museums in dire financial straits will be allowed to sell artworks from their collections, but not to cover operating costs. The Board of Regents, which has authority over the state's non-profit museums, is loosening some restrictions on museum sales.

The Education Department's Board of Regents voted to allow the sales, as long as the proceeds of the sales are used for the "acquisition, preservation, protection or care of collections." In other words, the museums can't sell parts of their collections to pay the mortgage.

Emergency rules adopted by the Board of Regents two years ago prohibited museums from selling off items in their collections to cover operating costs, a practice called “deacessioning.”

The rules were put in place at the height of the economic crisis, when some museums sold works to close gaps in their budget.

The new rules go into effect on October 8.


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Comments [1]

shadeed ahmad from New York, New York

Not-for-profit museums in dire straits shot themselves in their feet when they followed blindly (or greedily) in the footsteps of the for profit type of museums by raising admittance costs dramatically.

These are tough times, but many people see art as not being a necessity. Because of their own remiss not -for- profit museums inevitably lose substantial patronage of those people who aren't well to do financially, but never the less love art.

Minimum donation fees at not-for-profit museums are hypocritical and a turn off to some potential visitors.

It is hard to play cash strapped people for fools when it comes to whether or not they have to engage in art in their lives.

Sep. 18 2010 08:18 AM

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