July 7, 2018

Save the Art – Save the Museum to Host July 14th Rally
Calling on Museum to Halt Further Sales of Art, Increase Transparency.

Save the Art – Save the Museum invites the public to a July 14th rally in front of the Berkshire Museum at 39 South Street, Pittsfield, MA, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The protest rally will call on the museum to halt further sales of its art, and to be more open and transparent in its planning for the future.

The rally marks the first anniversary of the Berkshire Museum’s announcement of its radical plan to sell its most important art, alter its historic building, and move away from its original mission as a multifaceted museum of art, natural sciences, and history.

The issue is still very much alive. Your presence at the rally will send a message to the museum’s board that it is vital to listen to the community, safeguard its art treasures, and respect the institution’s valuable longstanding role as window to the world for adults and children.

The museum’s current effort to sell even more art cannot be justified after pushing through the first phase of its plan to sell up to 40 of its most important artworks. With $47 million now in the bank, the board cannot claim that it needs to further strip away the collection “to keep its doors open.” It should not sacrifice the important remaining works by great artists such as Bierstadt, Moran, and Calder just to reach an arbitrary $55 million goal with no specific plan.

It is also vital for the board to provide information so the community can accurately assess the situation. There are many unanswered questions as to why the board originally decided that this unpopular decision to sell off its art was necessary. The public needs to know the museum’s actual financial situation and whether its contract with Sotheby’s had any impact on their resistance to widespread calls to take a pause in the sales.


For more information on Save the Art – Save the Museum,
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Save the Art – Save the Museum (STA) is a citizens’ group that started as a grassroots effort on social media shortly after the Museum announced plans for its sale on July 12, 2017. Members meet regularly to organize opposition to the deaccession, educate the public about viable alternatives, and raise funds to support legal efforts. STA acts on behalf of more than 1,500 people who have joined its Facebook group dedicated to preserving the cultural heritage of the Berkshire imperiled by this sale, and thousands of other local residents who also object, many of whom have flooded the local newspaper with letters urging the Museum to change course and bring back the art.

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