Unnoticed taboo now raises controversy.
Major and minor art institutions to auction
old-master paintings at Sothebys New York, and questions over the act of
deaccessioning are again raised. Sails to refine or sharpen the scope
of an institution's collection or to raise funds for a more appropriate
artwork are allowed, but selling to cover operation costs is strictly
While these sales may have gone under the radar in previous years,
institutions like the Cleveland Museum of Art, J. Paul Getty Museum,
Pennsylvania Museum of Fine Arts, Carnegie Museum of Art, and the Art
Institute of Chicago are preparing to or have recently sold works and
are under the spotlight. In these lean times trimming the fat may be
the only way to survive, and deaccessioning may sadly be a necessary
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