Following a historic relaxation of deaccessioning laws in the US, we probe the moral quandaries faced by museums forced to sell-off parts of their collections to stay afloat. We speak to Christopher Bedford, the director of the Baltimore Museum of Art in Maryland, which has announced it is to sell three works.
You can read a comment against the sell-offs by Martin Gammon, the founder and president of the art advisory firm Pergamon Art Group, here; and read more about the letter from former trustees, donors and other supporters of the museum asking the Maryland state attorney general and secretary of state to block the sales here. You can read a response from Bedford here and from the museum's curators Asma Naeem and Katy Siegel here.
We also talk to Georgina Adam about what this all means for the art market, and to James H. Duff, a former director of the Brandywine River Museum and chair of the Professional Issues Committee of the Association of Art Museum Directors, for an overview of the history of deaccessioning. Find more of our coverage on deaccessioning here.
Plus, in our latest Work of the Week, artist Jennifer Packer discusses a Buddhist mural in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Packer's exhibition at the Serpentine Galleries in London opens on 18 November.