La Salle University Faces Backlash Over Planned Sale of Artworks

Willard Leroy Metcalf (1858-1925), Sandy Hollow, Manchester, Massachusetts, 1877, is set to be sold by La Salle University.
Willard Leroy Metcalf (1858-1925), Sandy Hollow, Manchester, Massachusetts, 1877, is set to be sold by La Salle University.
(La Salle University Art Museum)
  • Ingres’ "Virgil Reading the Aeneid Before Augustus," from 1865, is set for sale from La Salle University.

    Ingres’ "Virgil Reading the Aeneid Before Augustus," from 1865, is set for sale from La Salle University.

    La Salle University Art Museum

  • Antonio Molinari (1665-1704), Expulsion from Paradise, will be sold by La Salle University

    Antonio Molinari (1665-1704), Expulsion from Paradise, will be sold by La Salle University

    La Salle University Art Museum

La Salle University in Philadelphia announced plans this week to sell 46 artworks from its museum collections to help fund teaching and learning initiatives, according to school officials.

The art, includings works by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, Georges Rouault, and Albert Gleizes, could raise more than $7 million, based on estimates provided by Christie's.

Five works are expected to bring the most at the sale: Dame Elisabeth Frink’s sculpture Walking Madonna;  Ingres’ Virgil Reading the Aeneid Before Augustus from 1865; Dorothea Tanning’s Temptation of St. Anthony; Rouault’s Le Dernier Romantique (The Last Romantic); and Gleizes’ Man in the City (L’Homme Dans la Ville). 

A total of 36 works of the 46 slated for sale are on view in the private university's art museum. Ten other works come from storage. Most of the deaccessions are European paintings, along with several American works including pieces by William Trost Richards, Willard Leroy Metcalf, Alex Katz and John Koch.

The university cited a budget shortfall from declining enrollment and a deficit as factors in the decision.

Those in the local art community have been shocked by the planned sale. “This sort of feels like they’re robbing Peter to pay Paul, and it’s going to change the museum,” said Ron Rumford, director of Dolan/Maxwell, private art dealers in Philadelphia, to Philly.com.

“Is a gain of $4.8 to $7.3 million in operating funds really a game-changer for the university, or will this simply leave its museum — which is acknowledged as being an enormously valuable resource for faculty and students — weakened?” Timothy Rub, head of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and past president of the Association of Art Museum Directors, posed to Philly.com

Continued Rub, “It’s one thing to use deaccessioning [the sale of artworks] as a means for strengthening the collection by ‘trading up.’ Indeed, the [Association of Art Museum Directors] guidelines provide for that. But it’s another to use the funds for something else entirely, and not necessarily a good thing either for the museum or the university.”

More News Feed Headlines

"Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures)" (1972) by David Hockney

David Hockney Painting Snags $90.3 Million in New York; Bidder Wants to Whitewash Banksy He Bought in LA

  • November 15, 2018 23:03

David Hockney's sensual pool painting with two male figures became the most expensive work by a ...

Read More

Detail of Salvator Mundi by da Vinci.

Russian Art Collector Dmitry Rybolovlev Detained in Monaco

  • November 08, 2018 13:39

Update 11/9/18: Unspecified charges have been filed, via Bloomberg. Dmitry Rybolovlev, the ...

Read More

Romare Bearden, Cotton, 1964.  Gelatin silver print (photostat) on fiberboard (Ed.  1/6), 39 x 49 in.  (99.1 x 124.5 cm).  Colby College Museum of Art.  The Lunder Collection, 2017.003.  © 2018 Romare Bearden Foundation/Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY.

Arts Initiative Across Maine Brings Forward Artists' Perspectives on Migration

  • November 01, 2018 19:09

“…and when she went out it seemed to her that she too had migrated, that everyone migrates, even ...

Read More

Hank Willis Thomas and Emily Shur—For Freedoms

Norman Rockwell's Four Freedoms Are Remade by Artists to Reflect America Today

  • October 28, 2018 22:43

Some 75 years after Norman Rockwell created his iconic Four Freedoms images in response to ...

Read More

Related Press Releases

Related Events from ArtfixDaily Calendar

 

ArtfixDaily Artwire