The Detroit News ran a story today (in which I’m quoted) about the proposed deaccession of an early Van Gogh from the Detroit Institute of Arts, a topic we’ve covered recently. Somewhat surprisingly, after the museum made its case for the sale of the painting, those plans have apparently changed. From today’s article by Laura Berman concerning director Graham W.J. Beal’s statements about the museum’s plans:
Beal made the situation more confusing in a telephone interview with The Detroit News on Wednesday. He said he had decided not to sell the Van Gogh, but to leave the resumption of sales to his successor. Beal is retiring from the museum June 30.
“Were I not leaving, we would be getting back into gear with deaccessioning,” Beal said. Why was the plan to sell the Van Gogh being reported? “I had been talking to Sotheby’s and I think word leaked out,” Beal said. “When the bankruptcy was over, I talked to Sotheby’s and decided that now isn’t the time to do it.”
But Beal had not publicly denied readying the Van Gogh for sale. And DIA spokeswoman Pamela Marcil acknowledged the possibility of offering it earlier Wednesday. Would Beal sell the painting if someone made him an offer? “It would have to be above the auction house estimated sale value,” he said.
So much for all that, apparently.