Reporting on its midwinter meeting of more than 100 museum directors, the Association of Art Museum Directors has just posted a statement on its website expressing “strong objection to Brandeis University’s proposed plan to close the Rose Art Museum and sell its collection.” AAMD also “offered its support to the University in exploring alternatives to this drastic act.”
As for the National Academy, the association reaffirmed its censure and sanctions and made clear that they cover not just loans of art TO the Academy but also art loans FROM the Academy. This strikes me as cutting off their noses to spite their own curators.
But for the first time, AAMD did offer the Academy a way out of purgatory:
The sanctions will remain in place indefinitely, but the AAMD board reserves the right to revisit its decision and encourages the National Academy to discuss with the AAMD actions the National Academy can take that would result in the suspension of sanctions.
We hope that the National Academy will recognize AAMD’s code of ethics and professional practices for art museums, and will not continue to deaccession works of art from its collection for general operating support.
We look forward to meeting with the National Academy’s leaders to clarify their intentions for the future of the collection. We sincerely hope that the National Academy will in the future abide by the professional standards and ethics of art museums, and thereby reaffirm the importance above all of protecting its collections.
In the meantime, and until AAMD is satisfied with the National Academy’s future course, the over 100 members of the AAMD present at the meeting voted unanimously to support and abide by these sanctions, as affirmed by this resolution.
Finally, the association “discussed the unprecedented partial deaccessioning by the Denver Art Museum of a work in its collection in order to jointly acquire another work of art, and agreed to revise its professional practice guidelines to discourage future transactions of this kind.”
Why just “discourage”? Why not “prohibit”?