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Kimbell Art Museum Archives • Elginism

Showing 3 results for the tag: Kimbell Art Museum.

October 24, 2010

End to injunction on US museums selling artefacts from their collections

Posted at 3:07 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

One of the key differences between museums in the UK & those in the US, is that while the ones in Britain tend to often be run almost as though they are a distant offshoot of the government, those in the USA tend to be run far more like a normal business.

In the UK, deaccessioning of any form is generally seen as something to be avoided – the charters that govern many of the countries major institutions explicitly prohibit it except in a very narrow range of special cases. This tends to lead (whatever the intention of the institution) to the dominance of quantity over quality, meaning that maintaining the overall quality of the collection is only possible by keeping vast amounts of it permanently in storage. In the USA on the other hand, the opposite approach is often taken. The Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas is an excellent example of this approach, whereby acquisitions are only ever made with the aim of enhancing the quality of the collection & as a result are generally countered with a consequent deaccessioning to remove one of the less significant pieces from the museum. As a result, the museum’s collection is generally percieved as gaining in quality over time, rather than merely increasing in size or scope. The running costs of the museum are also significantly reduced by the fact that it does not need to create vast stores of artefacts that are never seen by the public except at special request.

More contentious though in the US (& even more so in the UK, particularly in the case of the Watts Gallery), is the idea that museums could sell off parts of their collection to cover their own operating costs.

The problem is that whilst there are benefits to both arguments, many institutions in the UK use anti-deaccessioning clauses in their governing charters as something to shelter behind when restitution requests are made, rather than actually dealing with the issue itself.

From:
New York Times blogs

September 14, 2010, 4:38 pm
Board of Regents Ending Injunction Against Museums’ Art Sales
By ROBIN POGREBIN

In a surprise development in the battle over whether museums should be allowed to sell art to cover operating costs, the New York State Board of Regents on Tuesday approved the expiration of emergency regulations regarding such “deaccessioning” on Oct. 8.

Those rules, which enjoined such sales, have been in effect since 2008. After hearing views from museums statewide, “there was no consensus on the efficacy of those emergency regulations,” David Steiner, the state’s education commissioner, said in a statement. Thus, “those regulations will be allowed to expire, allowing the prior regulations regarding museum collections to once again take effect.”
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March 3, 2009

Efforts made to retrieve disputed artefacts

Posted at 10:03 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

As the issues of repatriation & reunification of cultural property become more widely known, many countries are going to ever greater lengths to secure return of their artefacts.

From:
Star Telegram (Fort Worth, Texas)

Posted on Tue, Mar. 03, 2009
Countries go to greater lengths to get looted treasures back
By TIM JOHNSON and JULIE SELL
McClatchy Newspapers

BEIJING — China fumes over the foreign auction of its looted relics. Cambodia sputters over pieces of an ancient temple on sale on eBay. Egypt aches for its stolen treasures that sit in foreign museums, including the indescribably splendid bust of Nefertiti. Italy and Greece plead for the return of countless antiquities.

Countries with rich architectural heritages demand their patrimony back — and they are going to ever-greater lengths to get it.
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November 5, 2008

Who owns the ancient past

Posted at 2:06 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

James Cuno & Lord Renfrew discuss where ancient artefacts are best displayed, James Cuno has made his view clear on a regular basis in recent months. Lord Renfrew previously ran the Illicit Antiquities Research Centre at Cambridge University.

If you go the BBC website, you can listen to the original interview.

From:
BBC News

Page last updated at 09:57 GMT, Wednesday, 5 November 2008
Who owns our ancient past?

What should be done with objects from antiquity, when their provenance is uncertain?

From the debate over the British Museum’s Elgin Marbles, to the conviction of art dealer Giacomo Medici in 2004 for selling millions of pounds worth of stolen Italian antiquities on the international market, curators face a minefield when acquiring new objects.
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