A town in Erie, Pennsylvania has a Childe Hassam painting in its local library. When the work was appraised at $5 million, folks were itching to sell. But a funny thing happened on the way to a de-accessioning:
Insiders now doubt that number. A comparable Hassam recently sold for just $700,000. Another was pulled from auction when the bidding stalled at $300,000.
“The early estimates of its value appear to be exaggerated,” said William Garvey, the president of the Jefferson Educational Society. He heads the library study group, which was formed by Erie County Executive Barry Grossman. The group has met twice. Members already have dismissed talk of selling the art, Garvey said.
“The collection does have substantial value,” he said. “But I don’t know that it’s high enough at this point to warrant a sale.”