Selling Part an Art Museum's Collection to Preserve the Rest

TitleSelling Part an Art Museum's Collection to Preserve the Rest
Publication TypeCase Study
Year of Publication1996
AuthorsLadenson, R
Corporate AuthorsCenter for the Study of Ethics in the Professions, Illinois Institute of Technology,
Date Published10/1996
PublisherCenter for the Study of Ethics in the Professions, Illinois Institute of Technology
Publication Languageeng
Keywordsmuseum , Museum Studies , professional , professional codes of ethics , professional responsibility
AbstractYou are the recently appointed director of a private art museum with one of the finest art collections in the United States. The museum has been losing money steadily for several years, and now has a deficit of over $500,000. The museum's endowment is large enough to cover the current deficit, but it cannot do so indefinitely. A group of active museum board members present you a plan that calls for selling $25 million of valuable French Impressionist art works in order to create a new endowment fund for "collections care." This new endowment fund will cover costs associated with conservation, preservation, upgraded security, and new acquisitions. The code of ethics of the American Association of Museums forbids selling of art works for purposes other than acquiring more art. The American Association of Museum's code of ethics is not legally enforceable. Should you adopt or reject the plan? In either case give your reasons.
NotesCase from the October 19, 1996 Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl. Copyright Robert Ladenson, Center for the Study of Ethics at the Illinois Institute of Technology, 1996.
URLhttp://ethics.iit.edu/EEL/Art%20Museum.pdf
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