Here’s an interesting tidbit from today’s news: the town of North Attleboro, MA, turns out to own (or its school does) a fabulously valuable painting, that has hung in the school’s auditorium for something like 55 years. It was donated in 1951 by a prominent citizen of the town who was an art dealer, with the intent that it should be “appreciated by the students.” Now, because of its provenance (relatively important Russian artist), the painting has been estimated by Sotheby’s of NY to be worth anywhere from one to two million dollars at auction – yike!!
So, what to do, what to do?? Some town officials, including the superintendant of schools, believe the school’s best course of action is to sell the painting, and do something like create art scholarships to college for town students, in the name of the donor. The grandson of the donor thinks that’s not in the spirit of his grandfather’s donation.
Seems almost like a no-brainer, huh? How would a school in a small town that’s probably already struggling to have enough money in its budget for the truly necessary things, be able to afford the insurance and proper care that would now be absolutely imperative for this valuable work of art? Having a print, or copy, made of it for display in the school, and using the rest of the proceeds for the scholarships the superintendant suggests is a smart, and respectful, course of action. In my not-at-all-humble opinion.