Joe Queenan’s Unconventional Ideas for How New York Should Handle Deaccessioning


With the heat still on New York’s Board of Regents and the newly-created 16 member committee brought in to investigate how they should/shouldn’t oversee the state’s museums’ deaccessioning of art, humorist and critic Joe Queenan has laid down some of his thoughts on the matter for the Wall Street Journal. While his plans to not only throw out the rules regarding art sales by museums, but to actually encourage it in order to have all those millions go to New York’s beleaguered sports teams probably won’t get very far within the commission currently studying it, we appreciate his thoughts. What’s more, he isn’t at all selfish about New York getting all that art-to-sports loot. He even throws out the idea to other cities with lousy teams, like Washington D.C.:

The Redskins stink, the Nationals stink and the Wizards really stink. Yet the fat-cat National Gallery is sitting there with more Renoirs and John Singer Sargent canvases than you can shake a stick at. So why not, just to boost civic pride, put a couple of Canalettos on the block and get the Redskins a quarterback who is not yet collecting Social Security? Or package a second-rate Bronzino with a third-rate Van Gogh and acquire a defensive end who can stuff the run? Who’s going to be the wiser?