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Displaying items by tag: deaccession

The city of Venice is considering selling works by artists such as Gustav Klimt and Marc Chagall. The city’s mayor, Luigi Brugnaro, told the Italian news agency Ansa that he may seek to reduce Venice’s soaring debt by deaccessioning major pieces from the city’s most famous public museums.

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Venetian Mayor Luigi Brugnaro has revealed plans to sell off some of the city's artworks to help settle the municipality's mounting debts. The shortlisted works include notable paintings such as Gustav Klimt's Judith II (Salome) (1909).

According to Der Standard, Klimt's masterpiece, which hangs in the International Gallery of Contemporary Art in Ca ‘Pesaro, has been estimated to sell for €70 million ($79.6 million).

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German public broadcaster Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR), which controversially put some of its art collection up for sale to pay off debts, has been banned from exporting two paintings by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and Max Beckmann.

A spokesperson for North-Rhine Westphalia's culture minister Ute Schäfer confirmed that the state filed a request to add the works to the list of nationally important cultural goods, Rheinische Post reported.

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A portrait of Rubens’ young daughter Clara Serena, recently deaccessioned by New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, is going on display at the Rubenshuis in Antwerp. In 2013, it was auctioned as by a “follower of Rubens”, with an estimate of $20,000-$30,000. Now upgraded as authentic, it will hang in the artist’s own house, in the exhibition “Rubens in Private: the Master Portrays his Family” (March 28-June 28).

The earliest certain provenance of the portrait goes back to a New York collector in the 1930s and it was considered authentic until the American specialist Julius Held downgraded it in 1959.

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In January of this year the German state-owned bank Portigon AG of North Rhine-Westphalia, the rebranded successor of the WestLB which folded in 2012 during the financial crisis, decided to deaccession its entire art collection. The bank holds approximately 400-pieces of art, which includes works by Pablo Picasso, August Macke, Joseph Beuys, and Günther Uecker. Now preliminary measures to save the art collection of the state-owned bank, have been introduced by officials in the German state, "Monopol" reports.

The officials have presented a three-step plan devised to save the collection of Portigon, the bank considered selling its museum-quality art collection to pay back an EU bailout loan.

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The Toledo Museum of Art announced that it will return a nearly 1,000-year-old bronze sculpture of the Hindu god Ganesha to the Government of India.

The Ganesha was purchased in 2006 from art dealer Subhash Kapoor, who is currently awaiting trial in India on charges of illegal exportation, criminal conspiracy and forgery.

Research conducted by the Museum, with the assistance and cooperation of the Indian Consulate General, Dnyaneshwar M. Mulay, and the Ambassador of India, Dr. S. Jaishankar, and their respective representatives, led Museum Director Brian Kennedy to recommend the return to the Museum’s Art Committee. That committee voted on Aug. 21 to deaccession the Ganesha from the collection and facilitate its return.

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A chance to own an assortment of museum-worthy pieces made by Louis Comfort Tiffany is coming up at Doyle New York’s Belle Epoque auction on September 23.

Deaccessioned from the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the pieces comprise examples of Tiffany favrile glass vases in a variety of shapes and patterns (est. range $500-6,000). The highlights of the sale, however, are a bronze and lead favrile glass Dragonfly lamp designed by Clara Driscoll, circa 1906-1913 (est. $50,000-70,000), and a gold painted bronze and leaded favrile glass Dogwood lamp (est. $20,000-30,000).

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Wednesday, 13 August 2014 10:45

Thoughts on Deaccessioning Works of Art

Sometimes museums get in trouble. Deep trouble. Not because they damage art, or let it get stolen ... but because they sell it. The Delaware Art Museum is the latest target of the art world's ire — for selling one painting from its collection to try and tackle a debt, and for revelations in the past few days that two more paintings are up for sale.

The controversy relates to a serious museum practice with an unfriendly name: "deaccessioning," or the permanent removal of an object from the collection. There are rules around when and how deaccessioning can take place. Break those rules and there are some unpleasant consequences.

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Citing a sluggish art market, Delaware Art Museum leaders now expect to raise only $19.8 million by selling three works of art.

That amount is enough to retire the museum's construction debt from a 2005 facilities expansion. But it's not enough to replenish the museum's endowment, or reserve fund, which helps a nonprofit institution weather economic downturns.

Facing an October deadline from creditors, the museum board voted last spring to sell up to four artworks in its 12,500-piece collection to raise $30 million to repay the construction debt and replenish the endowment, which had been depleted for years to cover operational expenses. After exhausting fundraising efforts, officials said the museum was in danger of shutting down.

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The Assn. of Art Museum Directors sanctioned the Delaware Art Museum on Wednesday for selling its 1868 William Holman Hunt painting “Isabella and the Pot of Basil” this week to help make debt payments and build its endowment.

The painting, part of the museum’s permanent collection, sold for $4.25 million at Christie's, an incident that left the museum directors association “deeply troubled and saddened.”

“Art museums collect works of art for the benefit of present and future generations,” read the statement from the AAMD, which has long said artworks should be deaccessioned only to generate funds to acquire other works of art and to enhance a collection. “Responsible stewardship of a museum’s collection and the conservation, exhibition, and study of these works are the heart of a museum’s commitment to its community and to the public.”

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