There has been controversy surrounding the Polaroid collection, part of which will be auctioned at Sotheby’s in March. Many find the fact that the collection is being broken up distressing. After all, the collection was built out of loans from the individual artists to the Polaroid Corporation.
Prior to a bankruptcy judge clearing title to the photographs, it seems that the Polaroid Collection was floated to a number of museums as a possible gift. There are many good reasons the failing company would have wanted to unburden itself of the collection, including the cost of maintaining it. There are several reasons a museum would not want to have acquired the collection, including the nature of works having been created as exchanges for materials, the size of the collection and whether any museum felt the collection would fill a substantial hole in their holdings.
No museum acquired the collection. We know that much. It also appears that Polaroid never formally offered the collection.
Update: A previous version of this post was unclear. The post has been re-written.