To the editor: Reading Frday’s article “Architects of Berkshire Museum art sale say ‘pervasive meanness’ ... keeps it from meaningful changes” and the comment that the response to the sale of the art was “irrational” is both insulting and deeply upsetting.
It was precisely because the opponents to the deaccessioning of the museum’s finest art care deeply about the Berkshire Museum and the community that provoked such a strong response. As a former director of development and interim director of the museum, at the time I wrote a private letter to the museum’s director of development and director voicing my concerns and offering to help consider alternatives.
My letter was not an attack. Having spent a good part of my career raising money for nonprofit arts institutions in the Berkshires, I am well aware of the competition for contributed income. I received no response from museum leadership.
In my past experience and in my current role as leader of a cultural organization, I know these challenges first-hand and I also know what it is like to feel under siege. I wish the museum well and can only hope that it can continue to serve the community in important ways, but one wonders now where it is going. The “New Vision” that formed the rationale for the sale has been discarded and I would argue that the current renovation plans could have been achieved without the sale of the museum’s finest treasures.
Perhaps I am wrong, but I don’t believe I am mean or irrational.
Susan Bronson, Monterey
The writer is a former Berkshire Museum director of development and interim director, and is currently the executive director of Yiddish Book Center in Amherst.