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Memo to Alice Walton: If You Want to Buy Into Fisk’s Collection, Learn How to Spell It

It would be so nice if Alice Walton, who is seeking to buy a “50% undivided interest” in Fisk University’s Alfred Stieglitz Collection for $30 million, would learn the correct spelling of “Steiglitz.”
In the four-page letter signed by Walton, informing Tennessee Attorney General Robert Cooper of her dramatic proposal, she (or, more likely, her lawyers) put Stieglitz’s “e” before “i” a total of ieght—I mean “eight”—times. Her learning curve continues.
She’s only willing to do the deal, on behalf of her new Crystal Bridges Museum in Arkansas, if Fisk’s $7.5 million, bargain-price settlement agreement with the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum for that artist’s “Radiator Building” falls through. It has to be approved by Davidson County Chancery Court, which hears the matter on Sept. 6.
Walton herself observes in her letter to Cooper that the proposed O’Keeffe price “is not more than one-third of its market value.” It therefore seems fair to surmise that $30 million for a half-share in the 101-piece collection is a bargain price, too.
Here’s the response to Walton’s offer that I have just received from Ken West, Fisk’s vice president of communications and public relations:
This was certainly an unexpected event. The fact remains that Fisk has a signed settlement agreement with the O’Keeffe Museum and we look forward to the hearing scheduled in the Chancery Court on Sept. 6.
And here’s what my man Robert Cooper had to say, in his (correctly spelled) letter yesterday, responding to Walton’s proposal:
I have repeatedly expressed the desire for a proposal to emerge that would allow the Stieglitz Collection to remain in Nashville on a full-time basis, and I am sure that you understand that I would support any such appropriate local arrangement.
J. Tucker Martin, please copy. I hear there’s an opening for a higher-level Attorney General position. Super Coop, are you ready for a promotion?

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