posted by Linda Downs — May 28, 2013
An Open Letter to:
Mr. Kevyn Orr, Emergency Manager
City of Detroit
2 Woodward Avenue
Detroit, Michigan 48226
Dear Mr. Orr:
On behalf of the College Art Association that represents over 14,000 art historians, artists, curators, art educators and art conservators we express our shock and concern upon reading The Detroit Free Press article today, “DIA’s Collection Could Face Sell-Off to Satisfy Detroit’s Creditors.”
The Detroit Institute of Arts is one of the greatest art museums in the country that represents the finest creative achievements throughout the history of the world. The DIA is not only a great treasure but one of the very few places in Detroit where all people can enjoy, contemplate and study art and its many related concepts. The DIA has developed itself as a public educational institution and has been a leader in the profession at engaging with all segments of the community.
The CAA adheres to the principle that public art museums are held in the public trust and as such are to be protected for the public good. It also supports the Alliance of Museums Code of Ethics and the Association of Art Museum Directors’ Policy on Deaccessioning that states that the sale of art museum collections to support operating expenses is unethical.
We appeal to your higher judgment in assessing the true value of the DIA and its critical role for the public good of the city, state and the country in deliberating on the future of this great collection.
Anne Collins Goodyear
On August 26, 2013, the Executive Committee of the CAA Board of Directors has agreed to promote this petition, initiated by Jeffrey Hamburger of Harvard University, regarding the potential sale of the collection of the Detroit Institute of Arts.