Donn Zaretsky writes the Art Law Blog and some of the best analysis of what’s going on with, as he puts it, “the strict anti-deaccessionists” (is that like antidisestablishmentarianism?) Last night, he pointed to two different posts at once. So we’ll stick with Donn to make sense of what’s going. On one side is a new law about to be introduced in New York State’s Assembly that would make the AAMD guidelines law. On the other is Michael O’Hare who mocks the underlying premise that all deaccessioning is bad and that any deaccessioning done to raise fungible cash instead of a fund only to purchase new art is against the mission of a museum. Here Donn quotes Michael (got that?) and adds emphasis.
Mindless hoarding of whatever art it happens to have, by any particular museum, is irresponsible trusteeship of a patrimony whose purpose is to be seen and appreciated, not to be possessed. Elevating this hoarding, and refusal to think about how resources can be used, to a moral/ethical professional principle [and now a legal requirement — DZ] is worse, not only nuts but hostile to everything that really matters about art.”
Brodsky Beat (TheArtLawblog.com)