Will Pittsfield’s Berskshire Museum earn a derisive eponymous nickname?
The Berkshire Museum wants to sell its core collection, 40 works including two Norman Rockwells, a lovely John LaFarge Magnolia, a Vuillard, Calder’s first public commissions, and other high lights* for an expansion and redirection. The deaccession has been denounced in art news headlines for the past year, and defended by its museum board. Various alternatives have been batted about including merging with Williams College or moving the art to other MA institutions. Two of the works to be sold were given by the artist, Norman Rockwell. Three sons of the artist are suing to keep the art at the museum. The barbershop depicted in Rockwell’s April 29, 1950 Saturday Evening Post cover was located in East Arlington, Vermont. The Rockwells moved from VT to Stockbridge in 1953. If it’s sold and leaves MA completely, I hope it ends up in a museum near East Arlington, VT.
The Rose Art Museum and Detroit art sales were thwarted. However, full court PR campaigns weren’t launched for an auction sale, which is now the case with the Berkshire Museum upcoming sales at Sotheby’s.
PITTSFIELD — Three sons of artist Norman Rockwell went to court Friday to stop the auction of 40 works owned by the Berkshire Museum, including two donated by their father. Their action represents the clearest challenge to date of the museum’s plan, announced in July, to sell art to improve its balance sheet and to renovate its South Street facility. – By Larry Parnass
map of Massachusetts museums-
In addition to the Berkshire Museum pieces, the upcoming Sotheby’s sale on the 13th includes artists with connections to Gloucester such as Anna Hyatt Huntington, Paul Manship and Milton Avery:
The November 13th American sale includes a Milton Avery painting (est 2 million – 3 million), an Anna Hyatt Huntington Diana of the Chase sculpture (est $150,000-$250,000), and a Paul Manship sculpture Diana (est $400,000-600,000). The Rockwell barbershop is estimated to fetch $20 million to $30 million.