The New York Times dives deep into the problem of swelling storage and the routes some museums are taking to address it, including the controversial practice of deaccessioning.
“It doesn’t benefit anyone when there are thousands, if not millions, of works of art that are languishing in storage,” said Glenn D. Lowry, the director of the Museum of Modern Art. “There is a huge capital cost that has a drag on operations. But more importantly, we would be far better off allowing others to have those works of art who might enjoy them.”
Fueled by philanthropic zeal, lucrative tax deductions and the prestige of seeing their works in esteemed settings, wealthy art owners have for decades given museums everything from their Rembrandts to their bedroom slippers. It all had to go somewhere.