A spate of Rose Museum and deaccessioning related posts are perfectly timed for this Luis Tomasello from Sotheby’s Latin American sale. Atmosphere Chromoplastique No. 255 was purchased from Galerie Denise Rene in Paris and owned by the collector since. It was, however, on long-term exhibition at the Rose Museum in Waltham, MA. There’s no way to easily verify that the work is being sold because fo the Rose closure and confusion at Brandeis University. But the timing suggests the work was retrieved and put on sale.
Sotheby’s estimated the work at $40,000 on the high end. It sold for $92,500. Not the very strong prices of 2008 where Tomasello’s went for $120-$180,000 but still comparable with the 2007 prices for the artist’s work in this vein.
What does this tell us about deaccessioning? Probably not much. But if you’re inclined to connect the dots, here’s the Jerusalem Post‘s story on the Rose fiasco that makes for sad reading. The story reminds one that every group with a stake in the perpetual success of the Rose–the Rose family, the Mnuchins who did so much to launch the collection with an incredible buying spree, and region–suffers from Brandeis’s decision to close the museum.
Does that validate the strict anti-deaccessioning rule? Richard Armstrong doesn’t seem to think so. Judy Dobrzynski’s posting of the Maxwell Anderson and Richard Armstrong’s interview shows that Armstrong is hardly convinced that the AAMD’s guidelines make any sense in allocating resources for cultural institutions.
Selling the Family Jewels? (Jerusalem Post)
Richard Armstrong Reveals His Inner Cowboy, Especially on Deaccessioning (Real Clear Arts)