Brooklyn Museum Would Rather Not Talk About Selling New York History

Today the Post picks up the Atlantic‘s story about the end of the Brooklyn Museum’s  New York architectural collection. In the magazine’s June issue, John Freeman Gill had reported that the museum was quietly selling off the turn-of-the-century ornaments that art dealer Ivan Karp had salvaged in the 50s and 60s:

Over the past few years, the museum has quietly begun deaccessioning–the genteel art-world euphemism for “getting rid of”–large numbers of its city artifacts. In 2006, it transferred some 1,500 terra-cotta pieces, originally from a 19th-century Romanesque-style Brooklyn church, to a foundation in St. Louis. In 2008, the same group took possession of about 200 limestone fragments from the 1910 Gothic Revival facade of a West 57th Street townhouse. And in January, four circa-1920 cast-iron lawn jockeys, manufactured for the 21 Club, were auctioned off at Sotheby’s Important Americana sale. Such transfers are just the beginning of the museum’s broader effort to dramatically shrink its collection of city architectural ornament. Without notifying Karp, curators have been planning to sell more than a third of the remaining collection through a Harlem salvage dealer.

According to the Post, “the museum didn’t deny the magazine’s report, but said it ‘currently has no agreement with any sales venue’ regarding the artifacts.”

Brooklyn Museum Would Rather Not Talk About Selling New York History