July 14, 2018

Save the Art – Save the Museum Save the Art – Save the Museum Calls on Museum to Halt Further Sales of Art, Restore Original Mission at July 14 Rally

A rally calling on the Berkshire Museum to stop selling art from its collection was held in front of the Museum on Saturday morning (July 14) from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The rally was sponsored by Save the Art – Save the Museum (STA), a citizens group that has been opposing the Museum’s planned sale of 40 of its most important artworks from its collection.

A crowd estimated at 45 people or more held signs, with statements including, “No More Sales,” “Our Public Collections Are Not a Cash Cow,” “#artheist,” “WANTED: New Board,” and “STA is Here to Stay.” Many passing drivers waved and honked their horns in support of the rally’s goal.

“We were very pleased at the turnout,” said Hope Davis, a member of STA and an organizer of the rally. “How impressive that so many people came out on a hot and busy summer day. It shows that the public is still very much engaged with this issue.”

“This sends a clear message to the museum that it should stop any further sales, and start to listen to the community and protect what remains of its art collection.”

The event today was held to mark the first anniversary of the museum’s sudden announcement of the sale last year, which has generated controversy within the community, and in the professional museum and arts world.

STA and others in the community contend that the museum has no reason to sell more paintings. After selling off its first round of 13 artworks in May and raising $47 Million, the museum is in no danger of closing.

The museum has since announced that they are selling an additional nine artworks privately. These works — which include important paintings and sculpture by Bierstadt, Moran and Calder, among others — are culturally and regionally significant. These pieces could still form the core of a worthy local collection under the care of a board interested in restoring founder Zenas Crane’s original vision for the museum as a multifaceted “window on the world,” with its amazing collection of art masterpieces as its crown jewel.



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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