Letter: Museum losing baby, keeping bathwater

Posted
To the editor:

It is well established in various Pittsfield and Berkshire County histories, including the biography of the museum's first director, Laura M. Bragg, that the founders of the Berkshire Museum valued and protected the fine art collection.

When Director Bragg sold just one painting from the collection, she was rebuked by the Crane family. That sale led to a demand from the family that Ms. Bragg compile a list of everything she had sold during her tenure to date and provide full details about the transactions. When news of the sale went public, the community was outraged.

Over the years, the museum has had nine directors and many trustees. Directors and trustees come and go, but the permanent collection is meant to be permanent. It is the thing of value for which the founders built the museum and invested hundreds of thousands of dollars to preserve.

Using the old idiom of the "baby and the bathwater," the baby is the fine art collection. After the bath now planned by the museum's current management, nothing will be left in the end but the bathwater!

Donald. Lykkebak

Winter Park, Fla.

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