I just sent a variant of this post off to many of my graduate students but I wanted to reach a somewhat wider audience.
Yesterday Randolph College announced that finally (after 6 years) it has sold George Bellow’s “Men at the Docks” for 25 million plus dollars.Â The money is headed for the college endowment.Â The painting is headed to London’s National Gallery.
Inside Higher Ed
There is now a high profile precedent for colleges and universities to cite when contemplating the monetization of collections. Their partner in the process is not a private collector but a major public institution.Â Here are the bullet points I’m thinking about this morning.
- Does this mean that we can expect to see significant works of art move from small institutions to collections and private collections with the wherewithal to capture them?
- Will the 21st century be the century in which collections are remixed and remade?
- How liberating for other college presidents faced with financial difficulties is the assertion [we are under] “no obligation to abide by the guidelines of organizations that focus on academic or non-academic museums and galleries.
- How will the “organizations that focus on academic or non-academic museums and galleries” respond to the challenge?