The Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, Mass., appears to be going forward with its planned sale of 40 artworks from its collections despite protests from museum professional organizations and art lovers.
Over $50 million is estimated to be generated from the sales, and the museum has a controversial plan to put the proceeds towards a reinvention plan. Among the museum's stated goals are bolstering endowment, renovating buildings, and refocusing displays on science and history.
Sales are slated at Sotheby's beginning in November and continuing into 2018. Two works by Norman Rockwell that the artist donated to the museum are among the most opposed sales. Of Shuffleton’s Barbershop (1950), Rockwell's family told the Berkshire Eagle: “We believe that this painting is one of Norman Rockwell’s finest and should stay at a public institution, so that it can be seen.” It is estimated to bring $20-$30 million.
Artnews has a list of the 40 works with estimates here.