If you have ever admired this Rockwell masterpiece, then take a few moments to read about its future. (Sept. 6, 2017 via artnews.com) 😳
Despite the protests of some museum professionals and activists, the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, is going ahead with a controversial plan to sell works from its collection. The museum’s leadership has said that proceeds from the deaccessioning will go toward growing the institution’s endowment, renovations on its building, and reorienting its mission toward the sciences.
Today, Sotheby’s announced the price estimates for the works. The Berkshire Museum holdings will be offered at auction starting November, and will continue through 2018. The museum has said it hopes to raise some $50 million from the sale.
Leading the sale is a work by Norman Rockwell that has attracted the most ire of those protesting the move. Rockwell’s own family voiced their fierce opposition to selling the work, Shuffleton’s Barbershop(1950), telling 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.” The artist had donated it to the museum. Sotheby’s has estimated that the work, which was originally made for The Saturday Evening Post, will sell for $20 million to $30 million. It will be offered as the house’s American Art sale in New York on November 13.