Letter: Art sale, new vision will destroy museum
To the editor:
Science has been instrumental in creating a healthier, more informed world and is essential for our well being. Fine art is what makes the world a more civilized and relatable place while providing a way that we may understand ourselves and others. It unites us with one another.
Bierstadt, Inness, Bouguereau, Church, Rockwell, Calder and other famous artists are what make the Berkshire Museum humane and cultured. They are the very heart of the Berkshire Museum, an institution that I have felt was one of integrity. Rockwell exemplified life in Berkshire County in a endearing way, as a way of showing the humanity in everyday life. Why can't we also utilize these works to share with our children on a personal level?
We need to engage youngsters and educate them about true genius and beauty. Look closely at the painstaking brushstrokes, balance, impeccable coloring, and the subjects. Everything cannot be experienced through texting and button-pushing. One must develop visual art skills to construct technology.
Most of the art to be sold is from the 19th century and early to middle 20th century. The "Gilded Age" was a time when beauty for the sake of it was treasured and appreciated. I understand this because I am an educator of 19th and early 20th century art. I chose that era because it holds some of the most beloved, masterful, and well known artworks of all time. The pieces of art selected to be sold are so valuable because authentic art is one of the only things that still increases in value. People will pay millions because the skill, history, and emotion it encompasses is highly sought after.
Technology, however, changes in every moment and is a hollow acquisition as a replacement. My concern is that two years after the Berkshire Museum director and board pillage the art, gut the building, and set up the new technological installations that millions have been spent on, the new technology will become obsolete and the hollow new museum will have to continue spending money on updating the new technology.
The art that is being offered for sale is art that was intended for Berkshire residents and not intended to be sold by the few who seek monetary gain from these extraordinary works. It is the history and heritage of Berkshire County. Why not keep it and our collective integrity by reintroducing it to our community and explaining about the history and the lives of these skilled artists.
I support instituting a place with technological and scientific interactive installations. I just don't think that the Berkshire Museum should be destroyed or devalued in order to implement this vision. Find another place. There's a whole city full of empty spaces!
The sale of this work will irrevocably create additional hardship for the Berkshire Museum, our entire city, county, region, and state, not because of those opposing the sale but because the humane intelligence of the Berkshire Museum will have been extracted. Stop the sale now for the greater good!
Lucy R. Sacco,
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