The Met Considers Selling Its Art To Stave Off Financial Shortfall

Visitors wear masks at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in October. The museums director says the Met is considering offering art to pay for business expenses.

John Minchillo/AP

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John Minchillo/AP

Visitors use masks at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in October. The museums director states the Met is considering selling art to pay for operating costs.

John Minchillo/AP

Ziad Buchh and Scott Saloway produced and modified the audio interview.

The procedure of offering artwork, also understood as deaccessioning, is managed by the Association of Art Museum Directors, a professional company that sets policies and standards for art museums across America.

Back in April 2020, the museum had to lay off 81 employees in its customer support and retail departments and sizably cut the incomes of magnates.

And as Artnet reported, the Met has an endowment of $3.3 billion and multiple billionaires rest on its board.

However, last spring the AAMD announced it would unwind its standards on deaccessioning up until April 2022 to enable museums to keep themselves afloat versus the existential threat positioned by the pandemic. Formerly, money gathered from deaccessioning was only allowed to be used to purchase new art. Now, it can approach other expenses, consisting of salaries for those who work in collection care.

The pandemic is causing The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York to consider selling its artwork to cover operational costs as it disappoints $150 million in earnings.

If it decides to take advantage of the new deaccessioning rules, a spokesperson from the Met said the museum has still not looked into which pieces would be up for auction.

The relocation has consulted with some criticism, consisting of from previous Met director Thomas Campbell, who alerted that selling art to cover operating costs might “become the norm.”

Already, at least nine museums around the nation have actually sold art to survive.

He informs Rachel Martin on Morning Edition that the museums “participation is of course, method, way below from where we were prior to the pandemic. Last spring the AAMD revealed it would unwind its standards on deaccessioning till April 2022 to allow for museums to keep themselves afloat versus the existential danger positioned by the pandemic. Previously, money gathered from deaccessioning was just enabled to be used to acquire new art.” We will get this year another $50 million of endowment earnings through restricted endowments that are simply for acquisitions, we get another $50 million simply to purchase art,” Hollein stated. “So it doesnt suggest that the museum is no longer acquiring new works, or that we are not growing as a collection.

Hollein counters that the actual domino effect would be museums dipping into endowments to cover operating expense, which would “have enormous results in the long run.”

” We will get this year another $50 countless endowment profits through restricted endowments that are just for acquisitions, we get another $50 million simply to purchase art,” Hollein said. “So it doesnt imply that the museum is no longer getting brand-new works, or that we are not growing as a collection. We continue to grow, we just for this two-year duration might not grow as intensely or as quickly as previously.”

Museum Director Max Hollein says the Met isnt quite facing an “existential crisis.” However he informs Rachel Martin on Morning Edition that the museums “participation is obviously, way, method below from where we were before the pandemic. And its going to continue to be that method, even when restrictions are going to be lifted.”

The nations flagship art museum has still not made a decision on offering its work.

Hollein informs Morning Edition that despite the conditions, the Met will still be able to obtain brand-new art through its endowment.

The Met has constantly practiced deaccessioning, Hollein wrote in a post– leading to earnings thats varied from $45,000 to $25 million. The pieces must meet specific requirements set by the museum to be qualified for resale, such as if the work is redundant or of lesser quality than other pieces in its collection.