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Suit Filed to Prevent Maier Museum Art Sales

Eleven “intervenors” have filed suit today in State Circuit Court to prevent Randolph College, Lynchburg, VA, from selling works from its Maier Museum. The college last month sought an opinion from the court to determine whether it can sell works purchased with funds from its Louise Jordan Smith bequest, to augment its endowment.
The 11 filing suit include two women believed to be Smith’s last surviving relatives, as well as Ellen Agnew, the Maier’s former curator, associate director and director, and Laura Katzman, former director of museum studies and professor of art. Both Agnew and Katzman resigned recently to protest the college’s consideration of art sales.
In their press release announcing the suit, the Maier Eleven allege that the deficiencies for which Randolph College has been issued a warning by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools “are all signs of fiscal mismanagement, not a too-small endowment.” They observe that “the college boasts the fifth largest endowment of any private college in Virginia.”
College spokeman Brenda Edson said that no decision had yet been made as to whether museum works would be sold. More information about the views of the protest group, Preserve Educational Choice, which is spearheading the legal challenge to art sales, is here.

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