Letter: Legal system has spoken in favor of museum plan
I was under the impression that we were a nation of laws. The opponents of the sale of 40 pieces of art from the Berkshire Museum's collection of 40,000 such pieces went to the state judicial system to present their objections. They were told that they had no standing. They are outraged by the decisions of the attorney general and the courts; Berkshire Superior Court as well as a sitting justice of The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts. I think that they believe if they screech loudly enough, their tantrums will change the outcome. Sunday's screed, presented twice in the April 15 edition of The Eagle, stated that the trustees of the Berkshire Museum decided to pursue " a massive selloff of much of its irreplaceable public art collection."
This whole piece is hyperbolic, but the quote given here is truly over the top. The collection of the Berkshire Museum numbers, to quote The Eagle, constitutes 40,000 pieces. The museum trustees initially planned to sell 40, or if my math is correct, one tenth of one percent of the entire collection. Subtract 40 from 40,000 and you are left with 39,960 pieces of art.
Moreover the selling will stop when the museum has $55 million. The sale may amount to less than the 40 pieces originally proposed for sale. Do the protesters think the remaining 39,960 are junk?
If the museum cannot afford repairs, remodeling and renovation, what will happen to the pieces of art that they have? They could sustain great damage, which would be very costly to repair.
If the museum closes, what happens to the art? My own paranoia starts to activate at this juncture. I have a suspicion that some of these protesters would like to see this happen. Then a museum or museums that they support or they themselves could pick up favorite pieces. And so what if ordinary Berkshirites lose their museum? Let them go and pay unaffordable amounts for young families and public school groups to the Clark, Mass MoCA, the Rockwell, etc.
As for those of us who would like see the Berkshire Museum continue to fulfill the vision and purpose Zenas Crane had when he founded it, let us support the work done by the trustees of the museum, one of whom is actually a member of the Crane family.
Barbara Crochiere Roberts,
TALK TO US
If you'd like to leave a comment (or a tip or a question) about this story with the editors, please email us. We also welcome letters to the editor for publication; you can do that by filling out our letters form and submitting it to the newsroom.