Felix Salmon points to this item to make a more involved point about deaccessioning but we just want to pass along the news that the University of Iowa’s Jackson Pollock Mural may be under consideration for a sale in response to the budget crisis:
Legislative leaders are quietly talking about ordering the sale of the painting, which would outrage the university and art aficionados — but not many other people in the state. The subject has been raised in the House Democratic caucus, and while Iowa City legislators vehemently oppose it, others seemed to like the idea, say two guys who talked to folks who were there. Although University of Iowa officials have sworn that the painting will not be sold “it’s a frightening concept,” the university museum’s acting director has said and although the Board of Regents in October took no action after it requested information about the value of the painting, lawmakers say the legislature does have the power to order the sale.
The Legislature, which has been good to the Regents for the past two or three years, isn’t in such a benevolent mood this session. Leaders will target the Regents for more than their share of cuts in these hard times as the lawmakers try to limit cuts for health care and for grade schools and high schools. [ . . . ]
Meantime, most of the University of Iowa art collection — which is insured for around $500 million — sits protected and unviewed in a Chicago warehouse, where it was moved as flood waters approached the school’s museum this summer. Plans are afoot to move parts of it, including the Pollock, to the Figge museum in Davenport while university officials decide what to do with their damaged museum. Later, the temporary display will move to Des Moines. By then, though, it might not include the 20-foot-by-8-foot Pollock. Until then, university officials might want to correct the spelling of Pollock on the museum’s Web site.
Civic Skinny (Cityview)