On July 12, 2017, the Berkshire Museum announced that it would be selling the following 40 works of art from their collection to fund their endowment, capital improvements, and to pay down existing debt.

Since this announcement numerous community members, museum professionals, and national professional organizations have asked that this sale be paused and alternate approaches considered.

As of the most recent reports, the museum has declined to do so.

Works Slated for Sale by the Berkshire Museum

Please note works that do not have available images are represented by an empty frame or pedestal.

1. ALBERT BIERSTADT
Connecticut River Valley, Claremont, New Hampshire
1868, Oil on canvas
2. ALBERT BIERSTADT
Giant Redwood Trees of California
Circa 1874, Oil on canvas
3. RALPH ALBERT BLAKELOCK
Rocky Mountains
Oil on canvas
4. WILLIAM-ADOLPHE BOUGUEREAU
L’Agneau nouveau-né (The Newborn Lamb)
1873, Oil on canvas
5. WILLIAM-ADOLPHE BOUGUEREAU
La bourrique (The Pony-back Ride)
1884, Oil on canvas
6. ALEXANDER CALDER
Dancing Torpedo Shape
1932, Wood, wire and aluminum
7. ALEXANDER CALDER
Double Arc and Sphere
1932, Painted wood, wire and sheet metal
8. FREDERIC EDWIN CHURCH
Valley of the Santa Ysabel
1875, Oil on canvas
9. CHARLES FRANÇOIS DAUBIGNY
Paysans allant aux champs le matin
Oil on canvas
10. THOMAS WILMER DEWING
The White Dress
Oil on canvas
11. RAOUL DUFY
La Fête
Circa 1935, Watercolor on paper
12. GEORGE HENRY DURRIE
Hunter in Winter Wood
1860, Oil on canvas
13. PIETER DE HOOCH
The Music Party
Oil on canvas
14. GEORGE INNESS
Mountain Landscape – The Painter at Work (Leeds in the Catskills, with the Artist Sketching)
Circa 1867-1869, Oil on canvas
15. ADRIAEN ISENBRANT
The Temptation
Oil on panel
16. ADRIAEN ISENBRANT AND CIRCLE OF JOACHIM PATINIR
Flight into Egypt
Oil on panel
17. DANIEL RIDGWAY KNIGHT
Girl with Dog
1866, Oil on canvas
18. JOHN LAFARGE
Magnolia
1863, Oil on panel
19.HENRY MOORE
Three Seated Figures
1942, Pastel, ink and pen on paper
20. THOMAS MORAN
The Last Arrow
1867, Oil on canvas
21. ALBERTO PASINI
Market Day in Constantinople
1877, Oil on canvas
22. CHARLES WILLSON PEALE
Portrait of General David Forman
Circa 1784, Oil on canvas
23. REMBRANDT PEALE
George Washington
Oil on canvas
24. FRANCIS PICABIA
Force Comique
Watercolor on paper
25. SIR JOSHUA REYNOLDS
Portrait of Mr. W. Cave
Oil on canvas
26.NORMAN ROCKWELL
Blacksmith’s Boy – Heel and Toe
(Shaftsbury Blacksmith Shop)
1940, Oil on canvas
27. NORMAN ROCKWELL
Shuffleton’s Barbershop
1950, Oil on canvas
28. AUGUSTUS SAINT-GAUDENS
Diana of the Tower
1899, Bronze
29. FRANKLIN SIMMONS
Penelope
1884, Marble
30. GIULIO TADOLINI
Judith
1881, Marble
31. GIROLAMO TROPPA
Apollo Flaying Marsyas
Oil on canvas
32. JAN VICTORS
Benjamin and His Brethren
Oil on canvas
33. EDOUARD VUILLARD
Deux femmes dans un interieur
Watercolor on paper
34. EDWIN LORD WEEKS
Indian Prince, Palace of Agra
Oil on canvas
35. BENJAMIN WEST
Daniel Interpreting to Belshazzar the Handwriting on the Wall
Oil on canvas
36. A FOLDING ‘TALE OF GENJI’ SCREEN
Japan, 16th Century
37. A TEN-PANEL COROMANDEL LACQUER ‘DAOIST IMMORTALS’ SCREEN
Qing Dynasty, Kangxi Period, dated by inscription 1689
38. AN ARCHAIC BRONZE RITUAL FOOD VESSEL, GUI
Early Western Zhou Period
39.A LARGE BLUE AND WHITE ‘DRAGON’ VASE
Qing Dynasty, Early 19th Century, Jiaqing-Daoguang Period
40.A LARGE BRONZE FIGURE OF GUANYIN
China or Japan, 19th Century

 

 

 

Select Excerpts from recent press coverage & letters to the editor 

“When the Massachusetts Museum of Modern Art (MASS MoCA) opened a new facility in June, it became one of the largest exhibition spaces in the country. But on the other side of Berkshire County, another museum is selling off some of its most prominent art pieces in order to stay afloat” read more … PBS Newshour

“As members of Norman Rockwell’s family, we are very concerned that the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield is planning to deaccession Shuffleton’s Barbershop and have it auctioned at Sotheby’s. We believe that this painting is one of Norman Rockwell’s finest and should stay at a public institution, so that it can be seen.     

When our father and grandfather gave the painting to the Museum in 1958 he wanted it to be appreciated by his neighbors in the Berkshires. Norman Rockwell didn’t give it to finance the Museum’s renovation plans. He gave it hoping the people of the Berkshires would see it and enjoy it. By auctioning off his gift, the Berkshire Museum risks the painting being lost to a private collector who won’t share the painting with the public.     

That would be a great loss. We hope the Berkshire Museum will reconsider how it treats the gift that Norman Rockwell gave to them and preserves this very special painting for future generations of museum-goers.”
– 
Rockwell Family Letter Berkshire Eagle “

 

“The Rockwell family understands that only a serious financial crisis would force a museum to put so many treasures up for auction. Apparently, a lot of thought has gone into what the Berkshire Museum needs for its future, and it has decided it doesn’t need these two paintings. The paintings are to be sold to pay for a $40 million endowment and a $20 million renovation.

While we wish the Berkshire Museum well, we wonder if there isn’t another way. Perhaps a group of philanthropists could be found to make sure these paintings stay in the Berkshires. We encourage the museum to consider an alternative for raising money to keep the paintings in a public institution. Could a public appeal raise money so that the museum could transfer the paintings to the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge? If so, they would not only be loved and cherished by generations of museum-goers, but they would also remain in the Berkshires, where they belong.”
– Rockwell Family Letter Boston Globe

To read press coverage of the sale, please click here.