DETROIT (AP) — Detroit Institute of Arts director Graham Beal says he considered selling a Van Gogh painting to raise money to buy other works for the museum.
Beal told Detroit News columnist Laura Berman that he spoke with an auction house about selling “Still Life with Carnations,” but decided it was the wrong time to do so after Detroit’s December exit from bankruptcy.
Museums routinely sell, or deaccession, art to raise funds to buy new pieces. Institute spokeswoman Pam Marcil said Thursday it is a standard practice for the DIA and other accredited museums.
She says it is not related to the bankruptcy or so-called “grand bargain,” in which foundations and others agreed to contribute more than $800 million to soften Detroit retiree pension cuts while protecting art from city creditors.