This week Justice David Lowry, of the Supreme Judicial Court, approved an agreement between the Berkshire Museum and the Attorney General’s Office that will allow the sale of nearly 40 works of art worth an estimated $55 million.
The museum’s attorney claims that the proceeds from the sale are necessary to sustain its finances.
According to the agreement a Norman Rockwell piece Shuffleton’s Barbershop will be sold to another U.S. museum (possibly the Luca Museum in Los Angeles or the Crystal Bridges Museum in Arkansas) for public display. The remaining works will be sold to the highest bidder.
The court’s order ends months of legal opposition by many museum members and residents. After the order was announced their attorney stated that “we regret the judge’s disregard of the public trust. Those pieces were donated to be kept in stewardship by the trustees.”