David Ross, chair of MFA Art Practice at New York’s School of Visual Arts (and former director of the Whitney Museum, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and Boston ICA), responds to Delaware Art Museum’s Deaccession Debacle: The Impotence of AAMD.
Once again, I still think you are wrong about bringing more government into the art museum world. State attorneys general already have the power to investigate and prosecute institutional malfeasance but often lack the prosecutorial courage to take on powerful trustee boards. New laws would not likely change that dynamic.
The AAMD, toothless as it may be, remains the best way to pressure art museums to recognize their primary responsibility as stewards.
Public opinion is our best weapon in this particular battle, not more government.
Ross is surely not the only one who disagrees with me on the need for deaccession legislation. I welcome readers’ comments.