Christie's sale of 46 works from La Salle collection will diminish the museum and its academic programme
...Professional museum standards stipulate that money raised from deaccessioning works from a collection must only be used to acquire more art. These standards are not legally binding. Still, sell-offs are a terrible idea.
This sale diminishes both the museum and its academic programme. We are all creatures of the taste of the times. No one knows what future generations will deem a masterpiece. Once sold, the art is gone forever.
The university has a good, basic art history department offering a major, 22 classes across centuries and national schools, theme classes and internships. The university’s website describes the museum as “a little-known, but exciting collection of works”, neglecting to add that it is about to gut the place...
...At least the chair of La Salle’s art history department seems not to have been silenced. “We were not consulted or informed about the selling of one-third of the works on display at the La Salle University Art Museum,” she said in a statement, “all of which we use daily for pedagogical purposes”. Clearly, the university’s president and trustees listened to outsiders in assembling the consignment list. They are unlikely to know how faculty and students use the collection.
So, while the administration was sneaky, it is transparent in one respect: it is transparently, gloriously stupid. The issue is bound to simmer and boil until it becomes a public relations catastrophe...
(London-based "The Art Newspaper" is an online and print publication with offices in London and New York)