Thursday, September 13, 2007

Art Wars: Fisk U. vs. O'Keefe Museum

Posted By on Thu, Sep 13, 2007 at 4:00 AM

Art wars between the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum of Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Nashville's Fisk University have ended with the museum withdrawing a lawsuit demanding that Fisk give the museum the Alfred Stieglitz collection. O'Keeffe donated the collection -- named for her husband -- to Fisk in 1949. The most recognizable piece from the collection is O'Keeffe's Radiator Building -- Night, New York. The collection also includes works by Paul Cezanne, Pablo Picasso, and Marsden Hartley.

Fisk has since fallen on hard financial times. With the collection as one of its major assets, university president Hazel O'Leary proposed to sell two of its pieces in 2005. The O'Keeffe Museum sued, arguing that the sale would violate the rules of the donation.

O'Keeffe wrote in a 1949 New York Times editorial that the institution could sell whatever pieces it did not have use for after 25 years.

The Crystal Bridges Museum, under construction in Bentonville, Arkansas with Wal-Mart money, is said to have made a $30 million offer to split exhibition rights for the collection.

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