Fit, Not Finances, Behind Carnegie Museum Art Sale

By Conte, Andrew | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, May 3, 2009 | Go to article overview

Fit, Not Finances, Behind Carnegie Museum Art Sale


Conte, Andrew, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


The Carnegie Museum of Art plans to auction more than 185 items from its expansive decorative arts collection this month -- because the items no longer fit its mission, officials said, and not to raise money for operating costs.

The sales could raise as much as an estimated $360,000, which would be spent on acquiring better items for the collection, Chief Curator Louise Lippincott said Friday.

"All of the funds will be used for new works of art for display in the museum, and there's absolutely no exception to that rule," Lippincott said. "This is a necessary activity that will make our collection much better."

The sales will occur as renowned museums are coming under fire for considering the sale of artwork to pay operating costs or other expenses. Many art museums have suffered deep investment losses in recent months with the falling stock market and the recession.

The endowment for the Carnegie Institute -- which is the art museum, Natural History Museum, Science Center and The Warhol -- dropped to $197 million in December 2008 from a high of $300 million a year earlier, spokeswoman Ellen James said. The Carnegie Institute, which reported $60 million in annual expenses and a $17 million surplus in its latest audited financial statement for 2007, is not in financial trouble, she said.

The institute's overall finances and the sale of artwork, a process known as deaccession, are unrelated, James said.

Museum organizations and curators contacted by the Tribune- Review did not object to the auctions.

"Deaccession has nothing to do with the endowment, and the endowment has nothing to do with deaccession," James said. "We are a respected institution, and we would never want to compromise our practices or our reputation."

Items the museum will sell include a chandelier valued at as much as $30,000 and a Danish silver sugar sifter that could go for as little as $50.

Forty-one items are from the collection of philanthropist Ailsa Mellon Bruce, the only daughter of the late banker Andrew W. Mellon, a renowned art collector who founded the National Gallery of Art in Washington. Bruce died in 1969.

Most of the Carnegie items are scheduled for an auction in Portsmouth, N.H., on May 17, and two other lots are for sale at Christie's auction house in New York on May 22. Four items were placed for auction in March at Sotheby's in New York, but only one sold: a lamp, for $4,375.

The Carnegie's decorative arts collection has about 7,000 items, including 3,000 from the Bruce collection, and curators began reviewing the items in 2006, Lippincott said. The museum had just hired a curator for the collection, and it was preparing for an exhibit that opens in November. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Fit, Not Finances, Behind Carnegie Museum Art Sale
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.