Jackson Pollock, “Mural,” 1943, University of Iowa Museum of Art
Reacting quickly and forcefully, the country’s two leading professional associations for museums have combined their clout to issue this joint statement on the new attempt by Iowa state legislators to monetize the University of Iowa’s great Pollock “Mural’:
The Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD) and the American Association of Museums (AAM) are alarmed to learn of the recent proposal to sell the Jackson Pollock painting “Mural” to underwrite costs at the University of Iowa. Such a sale would violate a fundamental ethical principle of the museum field, one which all accredited museums are bound to respect: that an accessioned work of art may not be treated as a disposable financial asset.
University of Iowa President Sally Mason has forcefully spoken out against such an action in the past. We applaud this courageous stand and deplore the treatment of works of art held in trust for the public as a ready source of cash. We offer our support and call on the arts community to help prevent this permanent and irredeemable loss for the University and the people of the state of Iowa.