'Always on the wall'

October 31 2016

Image of 'Always on the wall'

Picture: NYT

Here's some more background in the New York Times on the recent mega-donation of art to the Musée d'Orsay by the US collectors Spencer and Marlene Hays. The key passage:

In April, the Hayses met with the French culture minister, Audrey Azoulay. “We told her we had decided to give all of our art to the French people,” Mr. Hays said. “The only thing we wanted to be sure she would do for us, we wanted it in one place, we want it all together, we don’t ever want any of it to be sold, and we never want it to be stored; we always want it on the wall.”

I do think museums under-estimate how deeply potential donors care about what happens to their paintings in the long-term. Who wants to give a painting to a museum, if you know that it's likely to spend most of its time in storage? And, worse still, if you think it might one day be sold? 

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