Museums Not Required to Shop Often Don’t: Dobrzynski Tells Why

by Bill Davenport March 19, 2012

Ace art blogger Judith Dobrzynski penned a neat summary of how a dedicated acquisitions fund ups a collecting museum’s cachet and opportunities in last week’s NY Times.  Such funds are surprisingly rare; according to Dobrzynski, ” private collectors donate 80 to 90 percent of what is on view in American art museums. Fewer than two dozen museums have sizable nest eggs to buy the art they choose.”  Even rarer are organizations like the Kimbell and the Getty, (which just got as new director, Timothy Potts, from the Kimbell) which have sizable unrestricted endowments. With constant pressure to use money in dwindling museum budgets for operations and salaries, institutions which don’t have their own money to spend on buying art, acquisition opportunities often get lost.

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