College Art Association

CAA News Today

CAA Statement on Delaware Art Museum

posted by Linda Downs — Jun 19, 2014

CAA endorses the Association of Art Museum Directors sanction against the Delaware Art Museum for selling an object from their permanent collection to address financial challenges. The work in question is William Holman Hunt’s  Isabella and the Pot of Basil (1868) sold at Christie’s this week for a final hammer price of $4.25 million, half the amount estimated.

The sanction will result in the Delaware Art Museum not receiving loans of works of art from the AAMD member museums: http://galleristny.com/2014/06/aamd-sanctions-delaware-art-museum/. This sale is unethical and a breach of fiduciary responsibility according to the collection policies of Association of American Museums, AAMD and CAA. Museum collections are held in the public trust, and proceeds of sales of works from permanent collections are to be used for future growth of collections.

Image: William Holman Hunt, Isabella and the Pot of Basil, 1868, oil on canvas, 74 x 46 in. (artwork in the public domain)