The Controversy Behind Deaccessioning Art At Museums

Published: Tuesday, February 20, 2018 - 3:30pm
Updated: Tuesday, February 20, 2018 - 3:36pm
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From time to time, museums will be challenged by what to do with certain parts of their collection that may no longer be seen as impactful or as attractive to potential patrons.

That leads to deaccessioning, which is defined as the process by which a work of art or other object is permanently removed from a museum’s collection.

A recent controversy has popped up at the Berkshire Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, over whether certain Norman Rockwell paintings — and others — should be sold to strengthen the museum’s endowment.

Brian Frye is associate professor of law at the University of Kentucky.

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