La Salle University Art Museum plans to auction 46 items in its collection to help fund teaching initiatives at the university. Works to be sold include pieces by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, Georges Rouault and Albert Gleizes.
The Philadelphia-based university’s board of trustees has approved the plan. Officials hope to raise more than $7m, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
The plan follows similar strategies employed by museums and universities to raise money but many have faced backlash. In July last year, the Berkshire Museum announced it would fund a new strategic plan and endowment through the sale of artwork from its collection, including two Norman Rockwell paintings. This was opposed by Rockwell’s sons who received a court injunction to temporarily block the sale.
A plan to close its museum and sell its art was reversed at Brandeis University in Massachusetts following legal action and protests from students. Similarly, Randolph College in Virginia received criticism for deciding to sell a George Bellows painting worth more than $25m.
The La Salle University collection
The La Salle University Art Museum opened in 1976 and its collection includes paintings, drawings and sculptures from the Renaissance era to the present. The sale will mostly consist of paintings but will also include some sculptures and drawings.
Christie’s Auction House will run the sales. A spokeswoman for La Salle told The Art Newspaper that they will take place between March and June in New York, London and online.
The five pieces expected to raise the most are Dame Elisabeth Frink’s sculpture Walking Madonna; Ingres’ Virgil Reading the Aeneid Before Augustus from 1865; Dorothea Tanning’s Temptation of St. Anthony; Rouault’s Le Dernier Romantique (The Last Romantic); and Gleizes’ Man in the City (L’Homme Dans la Ville).