"The Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago may be preparing to sell its rare book collection, the Chicago Tribune reported Tuesday. The newspaper said a committee of scientists and executives reported earlier this year the collection could bring about $50 million. The museum owns what some experts say is the best set of John Audubon’s “Birds of America” as well as other rare items documenting the natural history of the United States. In 2004, the museum sold more than 30 paintings by George Catlin, a 19th-century artist who specialized in the American West, especially portraits of American Indians. Scholars say the works have disappeared into private collections."
"Also while I was away, I see American museums continue to do a bang-up job of making sure important works from their collections will be accessible to present and future generations. The latest example is the Evansville Museum, which recently discovered, after 50 years, that a work that had been given to it was a Picasso … and promptly decided that the best reaction to this happy discovery was to sell the work."
"Britain is set to lose a world-renowned museum following a high court ruling which could force it to sell its collection to pay off a £134m pension deficit. The Wedgwood Museum in Stoke-on-Trent faces being forced to sell its historic collection of china, masterpieces by Stubbs, Romney and Reynolds, and an archive linked to the nation’s social and industrial history. Judges in Birmingham ruled that the pottery collection owned by the museum was an asset of Waterford Wedgwood Potteries, which went bust in 2009. The collection can now be sold to pay off creditors, the largest of which is the Pension Protection Fund. The decision has shocked the art world because it could prove to be a test case for other public collections."
"The Association of Academic Museums and Galleries is deeply disappointed in the recent ruling by the Tennessee Appeals Court, of November 29, 2011, that allows Fisk University to sell fifty percent of its Stieglitz collection to the Crystal Bridges Museum to raise funds for the university’s operating budget. We believe that this action irrevocably damages the public’s trust in the university and its art galleries."
"once an object falls under the aegis of a museum, it is held in the public trust, to be accessible to present and future generations"