Baltimore Museum of Art Withdraws Works from Sale

October 29 2020

Image of Baltimore Museum of Art Withdraws Works from Sale

Picture: Sotheby's via.

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

In a shocking 11th hour move the Baltimore Museum of Arts withdrew several works of art from Sotheby's Contemporary Art sale in New York last night. The museum has also announced that it has paused the sale of Andy Warhol's The Last Supper. The museum had been hoping to raise $65m from the sales for what they had described as an 'endowment for the future'.

The museum seem to have been responding to the outcry of donors and a public petition from several members of the Association of Museum Directors. The association's president had two days ago written the following lines in a letter clarifying its stance to all members:

I recognize that many of our institutions have long-term needs—or ambitious goals—that could be supported, in part, by taking advantage of these resolutions to sell art... But however serious those long-term needs or meritorious those goals, the current position of AAMD is that the funds for those must not come from the sale of deaccessioned art.

The museum have also issued the following statements regarding the withdrawal:

Our vision and our goals have not changed. It will take us longer to achieve them, but we will do so through all means at our disposal. That is our mission and we stand behind it.

Here is the museum's statement in full.

Notice to "Internet Explorer" Users

You are seeing this notice because you are using Internet Explorer 6.0 (or older version). IE6 is now a deprecated browser which this website no longer supports. To view the Art History News website, you can easily do so by downloading one of the following, freely available browsers:

Once you have upgraded your browser, you can return to this page using the new application, whereupon this notice will have been replaced by the full website and its content.