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National Academy No Longer Ostracized: It’s About Time! UPDATED WITH PODCAST

It figures that I’d be halfway around the world (and not blogging) when the Association of Art Museum Directors announced its long overdue decision to lift the sanctions it imposed almost two years ago on the National Academy.

As CultureGrrl readers know, I broke the story about the National Academy’s stealth deaccessions in late 2008 of two important paintings—a Church and a Gifford. Contrary to AAMD guidelines, the proceeds were used to defray expenses and debts, not to purchase other artworks for the collection.

I only found out about this breaking news because WNYC, New York Public Radio, contacted me for an interview (web only, not broadcast). You can read and listen to my comments, posted by Marlon Bishop, the station’s culture producer, here. Also included are remarks by Kaywin Feldman, president of AAMD, and deaccession-friendly blogger Sergio Muñoz Sarmiento.

As I discussed in more detail on CultureGrrl here, I told Marlon of my dismay at how far AAMD had gone to dress down the Academy:

To my mind, telling other museums that they can’t associate in any way with their colleagues at the National Academy, this ostracism…was almost an assault on academic freedom.

It went very far, and I’m glad to see that things have settled down.

UPDATE: Here’s the audio podcast of my comments for WNYC’s deaccessioning story:

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