To the editor:
As a Berkshire resident following the Berkshire Museum's decision to sell the top 1 percent of its extensive collection, I have a proposal to make regarding the two Norman Rockwell paintings given as a generous token of the deep friendship between the painter and former museum director, Stuart Henry.
My proposal: Loan the Rockwell Museum the two Rockwell paintings for 20 years with the stipulation that the Rockwell Museum have them on permanent display, and once every 5 years, tell the story between these two aforementioned gentlemen, complete with the documents highlighted in The Eagle's excellent article (Eagle, Aug. 6). During those 20 years, the Rockwell Museum will work to raise the purchase price of the two Rockwell paintings, as determined by three Rockwell specialists agreed upon by both museums' directors.
To meet its auction goals, the Berkshire Museum will have to dig deeper into the 99 percent of its remaining collections. Of course it could also start with the less beloved and spectacular of its holdings and auction them, rather than the cream of its collection.
As an aside, please don't auction off Judith. I remember the first time I saw her over 30 years ago. The breathtaking carving of her veil in particular has haunted me all this time. How could anyone create such beauty and texture in marble? She truly is one of the Berkshire Museum's finest pieces.
Unlike many, I do not totally disagree with the Berkshire Museum redefining itself. I do however totally disagree with how it is doing it — in particular auctioning off the two Rockwell paintings, especially how they were given to the museum and the place Norman Rockwell occupies in the hearts of Berkshire residents.
I hope my proposal will be given careful consideration by the Berkshire Museum and possibly it may be a first step to solving many of the problems the museum's recent announcements have created.