Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Baltimore Museum of Art Cancels Painting Sale that Drew Complaints

By Hilarie M. Sheets

Andy Warhol’s The Last Supper at the Baltimore Museum of Art. (Andy Warhol. The Last Supper. 1986. The Baltimore Museum of Art: Purchase with exchange funds from Harry A. Bernstein Memorial Collection, 1989.62. © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo courtesy Baltimore Museum of Art. Installation photo by Stephen Spartana.)
The Baltimore Museum of Art is pausing its plan to sell three major paintings from its collection. A Sotheby’s sale of works by Brice Marden, Clyfford Still and Andy Warhol was estimated to bring in $65 million to fund acquisitions of art by people of color and staff-wide salary increases. The decision, on the day of a planned auction of two of the works, came after weeks of criticism from people who opposed the sale and hours after a conversation between leaders of the museum and the Association of Art Museum Directors, a professional organization advancing best practices for art museums. Controversy and recriminations from critics and museum professionals nationwide have trailed the museum’s Oct. 2 announcement of the sale. [More