Should museums sell works of art? Plus, activism at the Whitney Biennial

After the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art's sale of its Rothko, we discuss the principles that guide deaccessioning in the US and speak to activists about the Whitney vice-chairman's problematic link to a weapons manufacturer

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SFMoMA sold Rothko’s Untitled (1960)—acquired in discussion with the artist—in order to support the diversification of its collection Photo courtesy of Sotheby’s; © 1998 Kate Rothko Prizel and Christopher Rothko/Artists Rights Society

As a Mark Rothko painting is sold by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, we talk to Christopher Bedford from the Baltimore Museum of Art about deaccessioning works by white male artists in order to diversify museum collections. And we speak to Marz Saffore, an organiser for Decolonize This Place, and Adam Weinberg, the director of the Whitney Museum of American Art, about the protests that have greeted this year’s Whitney Biennial. They relate to Safariland, a company owned by the museum’s vice-chairman Warren Kanders, which manufactures tear gas canisters and other military products that have been used against asylum seekers along the US-Mexico border.

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