The New York Times has another story of a regional institution that wants to sell its art to focus on its main function. In the case of the James Prendergast Library in Jamestown, New York, the stumbling block isn’t any sort of ethical guidelines against a sale. Rather, the library has been forced to pass up an offer to buy the art and relocate it within the community by the NY State Attorney General.
The Times explains:
Some critics of the sale are particularly upset that the library rejected a plan by two art patrons, Cathy and Jesse Marion of Houston who had proposed keeping the collection in Jamestown by buying about 40 of the works for $1.2 million and finding a new home for them in the city.
“I’m mostly disappointed for the city of Jamestown,” Mr. Marion said. “We did have a ray of hope.”
Mr. Rankin said the library had to pass on that offer because the New York State attorney general’s office, which oversees nonprofit organizations, had objected to a private sale without testing whether the paintings might actually bring in more if sold through public auction.
A Struggling Historic Library Says It Needs to Sell Its Art (New York Times)