AAMD Vehemently Opposes Delaware Art Museum’s Plan To Sell Works

The Delaware Art Museum. Courtesy the Delaware Art Museum.

The Association of American Museum Directors (AAMD), an organization that includes the directors of 240 museum across North American, has released a statement vehemently objecting to the Delaware Art Museum’s plan to sell works from its collection to pay off debts and recoup expenses.

“Selling works of art held in the public trust and using the proceeds for such purposes would represent a direct and serious violation of AAMD’s Code of Ethics and the professional standards of the museum field,” the AAMD said in its statement. It continued:

The sale of a work (or works) of art from a museum’s collection for any purpose other than the continued development of that collection represents a violation of the public trust and can seriously undermine the confidence of the public in the institution and weaken its ability to fulfill its mission. Such an action can also serve to discourage donors from supporting art museums and have a significant impact on fundraising over time. Furthermore, treating works of art from a museum’s collection as financial assets not only damages the museum taking such an action, but also adversely affects the field as a whole.

The AAMD said it has reached out the troubled museum, urging them to find alternative ways to raise the necessary funds.

The Delaware Art Museum’s plan to sell its artwork comes after a similar decision was taken by the Maier Museum of Art at Virginia’s Randolph College, which resulted in a similar AAMD response.

David LaGaccia

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