Letter: Museum's open letter raises more questions
I would like to address several statements made in the open letter "From Berkshire Museum to our community" that appeared in The Eagle:
— "We regret that this ongoing opposition continues to divide our community in hurtful and damaging ways." Did the museum's board of trustees really expect to let its 40 finest pieces of art out the door and not receive any protest about it? Of course many of us are hurt. Even though the courts gave the board permission for the sale and the coffers are getting filled, our wounds are just as deep and the scars will not go away because this art is gone and it will not come back.
— The museum "treasures fine art." Well, the finest of the art is sold, and more may be sold as well. Say again?
— "We must ensure our facilities are updated to contemporary museum standards." Well, this is a change. Ethics and standards seemed to have gone out the window when the board disassociated the Berkshire Museum from museum associations in order to sell the art. What standards is the board going to follow now?
— "The board is evaluating and will select an independent consultant ..." This is about finances, which are very important. But crucial to dealing with the future of the museum is the question of when will a museum curator be hired? At this point, my hope is that it should be very soon. As the board is proceeding to make changes, a curator will have the expertise and knowledge of how to interpret the museum's collection and should be involved in every step of the way as this "New Vision" develops. If a curator is not hired, I feel this would be another misstep by the board.
Hiring this professional will give staff and all lovers of art a new appreciation and understanding for the remaining collection and a way to proceed for the future.
Karen R. Ketcham,
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