To the editor:
The June 4 open letter titled "From Berkshire Museum to our community" by the trustees of the Berkshire Museum is neither open nor straight with its community that still awaits more full disclosure of the board's plans for the museum's future. How exactly will the funds from the sale be used, and for what programs and building revisions? If the museum "treasures fine art and our engagement with the community," why were the best of the museum's treasures sold? And why wasn't the community more engaged in planning the vision of the museum's replacement future?
If the community asked the board "to be a vibrant gathering point, profoundly accessible, and a dynamic connector," in what ways does the board plan to become this open arbiter of the community's aspirations for the museum? It wasn't the "hurtful opposition that continues to divide our community," but the board's continued lack of transparency and willingness to engage with the people the museum should be dedicated to serve.
Museums in the 21st century should be planned from the outside in and not the inside out!
The writer is former president, Rhode Island School of Design; former deputy director and chief curator, National Gallery of Art; former member, National Council on the Arts and Ohio Arts Council; president of the board, Newport Restoration Foundation; member, Williams College Museum of Art Visiting Committee; member, Alliance of American Museums; and member, New England Museums Association.