Letter: Museum fails donors, violates code of ethics

Posted
To the editor:

I do not understand the Berkshire Museum's thinking in selling artwork to fund itself for the next century. If the museum had the Mona Lisa, would it sell that off as well?

If the Rockwell family voiced a complaint about selling anything of Norman's, then I would think those wishes would be honored. If the artist is no longer living, how do they know what his or her wishes would be?

I don't think most artists donate their work to a museum with the intention that it would be sold off for profit at some future date. I was a good friend of Ronnie Roberts, a watercolor artist, who painted Berkshire County scenes. She has passed away, and now I know why she donated much of her work to museums in New York City rather anything to the Berkshire Museum.

I know that the Smithsonian has a code of ethics for a reason. I don't know why any artist would want to donate work to the Berkshire Museum if this is what is going to happen later on.

I myself will not support or visit the Berkshire Museum ever because of its decision, and I would urge everyone else to do the same until the museum buys back all artwork auctioned off and changes its policy and accepts the Smithsonian code of ethics.

Jeff Sherman,

Pittsfield



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