Due to significant financial losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the Brooklyn Museum, like other major cultural organizations, is turning to an auction house to sell works from its permanent collection to raise funds.
The Museum announced in September that it would begin the sale of several works to create a fund for the “direct care of the collection”. The fund, as it clarified, will be used to “increase the lifespan, usefulness or quality of the collection, thus ensuring that it will continue to benefit the public for years to come.”
The Museum is seeking to raise $40 million for this fund and is now offering selected paintings by Claude Monet, Joan Mirό, Henri Matisse, Edgar Degas, Jean Dubuffet at Sotheby’s New and Contemporary Art Auctions in New York on October 28.
The most notable works are Dubuffet’s “Le Messager” (1961) and “Rue Tournique Bourlique” (1963), valued at between $2.5 million and $3.5 million.
The American Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD) has given museums the opportunity to sell works to preserve their collections. In the past, the AAMD could reprimand or sanction museums that sold pieces from their collections if the profits went towards operating or capital expenditures rather than for the acquisition of works.