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Tennessee AG Likes New Proposal for Fisk’s Stieglitz Collection UPDATED

Tennessee Attorney General Robert Cooper Jr. has given support—in the form of a memorandum filed this week in Davidson County Chancery Court—for serious consideration of an improbable plan to put some of Fisk University’s Stieglitz Collection under the care of the as yet nonexistent Museum of African American Music, Art and Culture in Nashville, where Fisk is located.
To allow further exploration of this proposed arrangement, Cooper has asked Chancellor Ellen Hobbs Lyle to postpone, from mid-February to late June, the trial involving Fisk’s attempt to finalize a $30-million deal to sell a half-share of the collection (which was given to it by Georgia O’Keeffe) to Alice Walton‘s planned Crystal Bridges Museum, Bentonville, Arkansas. The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe, opposes the deal and has tried to claim the collection for itself.
The parties are due in court today.
According to its proposal, the new museum would pay Fisk for use of the collection. In his memorandum, Cooper asserts:
Such an arrangement would not only provide Fisk with a reliable and substantial source of annual income; it would also relieve Fisk of ongoing preservation and maintenance costs [for the collection].
The AG likes the possibility of keeping the Stieglitz Collection “intact, in Nashvillle, and under Fisk’s ownership.”
So do I. But on this one, as I suggested in my above-linked post, I reluctantly agree with Fisk’s president, Hazel O’Leary. In comments reported yesterday by the Tennessean, she “questioned the finances of the proposed museum….’We have no idea who the African-American museum will have as an expert,’ O’Leary said. ‘The (proposal) on its face, not thought out, is so nebulous as to almost be insulting.'”

: Here’s Cooper’s memorandum asking for a trial delay (from the Tennessean’s website).

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