Letter: Why are trustees insistent on shuffling off Rockwells?

To the editor:

The sale of Shuffleton's Barbershop, considered one of the best and most valuable paintings ever created by Norman Rockwell, continues to be at the center of the saga of the Berkshire Museum art sale.

Why do the trustees seem absolutely determined to "shuffle" it off to someone else? It is obviously the most loved and cherished piece of the 40 items selected for sale. Shuffleton's, along with Shaftsbury's Blacksmith Shop, are the two most important pieces of art in the museum to the community.

Rather than being determined to sell those treasures, shouldn't the trustees be determined to preserve them for the families of Berkshire County and Massachusetts?

Why are the trustees so insistent on selling the Rockwell? Should they continue to have anything to do with the decision-making and management of the museum? They do not appear to have the best interests of the citizens at heart.

Other important questions are: Who is paying millions to get Shuffleton's? Who arranged the sale? And exactly why would the trustees want to sell the Rockwell's rather than a few less sentimental pieces?

Since Shuffleton's and Shaftsbury's were gifts from the artist himself, shouldn't they both remain at the museum for the citizens of Berkshire County? Didn't Norman Rockwell intend them for his friends and neighbors forever? Isn't that "intention" clear enough to all?

And finally: Why should people somewhere else have the pleasure of Shuffleton's and Shaftsbury's at the expense of the people they were meant to benefit?

The trustees should be forced to have a public meeting to address the community's questions and concerns before the art is sold. The Berkshire Museum and the community will be forever damaged if the sale is allowed to go through.

Dolores Darby

Wendell, N.C.

The writer was born and grew up in The Berkshires.


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