The Saint Louis Art Museum buys a Degas and sells several other paintings

Edgar Degas (1834-1917)
The Milliners, c. 1898
Oil on canvas - 75.2 x 81.9 cm
Saint Louis, Art Museum

28/09/07 — Acquisition and deaccessioning — Saint Louis Art Museum — This American museum has just acquired from Blondeau Fine Arts Services in Geneva for the sum of $10 million a canvas by Edgar Degas representing Milliners (ill.). The Getty Museum had already bought a work with the same subject in 2005 (see News in French on La Tribune de l’Art, November 15, 2005). This is the first painting by Degas to join the collections of the Saint Louis Art Museum.

As in the case of the acquisition made in 2003 by the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston of the The Duchess of Montejasi with her Daughters, Elena and Camilla, the Saint Louis Museum will finance this purchase by putting several paintings up for sale in three upcoming auctions at Christie’s in October and November. Among these ($11.1 million high estimate) there are, notably, a Mary Cassatt (the only one in the museum), a Renoir, two Braques, a Matisse, a Lhote…The choice of such an operation is criticized by some American observers, such as Lee Rosenbaum, proving that just when in France the notion of the“inalienability” of its collections is being debated, deaccessioning (the practice of selling off a museum’s holdings) does not have unanimous support, even in the United States.

Version française

Didier Rykner, vendredi 28 septembre 2007

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