Letter: Save-the-Art doesn't mean scrap 'New Vision'

To the editor:

In response to the 195 neighbors who have written to The Eagle to endorse the Berkshire Museum's New Vision plan ("A bold step forward for Berkshire Museum," Oct. 7), I would like to respectfully point out that that many of us who vehemently object to the sale of the museum's important and historic art collection specifically do not object to the merits of the New Vision program or the museum's architectural redesign plans. It is essential to note that we passionately object to the liquidation of the art to fund these projects, not the projects themselves.

We may have doubts about why this initiative would cost $40 million to $60 million, which would require selling off all 40 pieces. We may have concerns that the initiative has been merely outlined in its design and never been fully substantiated in a business plan that would require such a fortune. We may have serious concerns about the current director's history of misleading the public, which The Eagle has so carefully documented. We may wonder why the museum retains a publicist but not a curator. We may be uneasy that the museum has been secretive and manipulative in its development of this program and its approach to publicizing the program, which has resulted in so much acrimony that is hurtful and a liability to the museum.

Over 1,300 people have signed an online petition asking that the Sotheby's sale be paused. The petition is not directed to the New Vision initiative.

In response to Tricia Farley-Bouvier's unfair accusations regarding the actions of the people behind the Save the Art effort ("Rep. Farley-Bouvier backs Berkshire Museum board, calls for civil debate," Sept. 23), these people are neither uncivil nor discourteous but rather sincere and informed. They, too, are neighbors and friends. And, in fact, the necessity of the sale itself and the museum's finances have been professionally challenged by respected authorities in the museum field.

Those of us involved in the Save the Art movement are not opposed to the New Vision plan, and we ask that its supporters support us.

Barry Lobovits,



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