Museum News in Brief: Dr. Kevorkian’s Family Wants His Paintings Back and the Las Vegas Mob Experience Files for Chapter 11

Two pieces of random museum news to share to close out the week for this writer. First, the organization that you would think had found the perfect subject matter in the perfect locale with the most perfect visitor base has run into some trouble. Earlier this week, the Las Vegas Mob Experience museum filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The museum had opened just this past spring and apparently had spent too much constructing its building only to receive too few visitors. However, despite being in debt to the tune of just shy of $6 million, the Wall Street Journal reports that a holding corporation may have stepped in to help buy it out of its troubles.

Elsewhere, and completely unrelated unless you tie the two together by having museum in common, the Armenian Library and Museum of America in a suburb of Boston is fighting off the estate of right-to-die activist Dr. Jack Kevorkian over 17 works of art the recently deceased doctor had painted. The AP reports that the family wants to include the pieces in an auction next week of the doctor’s effects and estimates the paintings, many of which “depict death or dying and could provoke or disturb viewers” are worth somewhere between $2.5 and $3.5 million (one of the paintings was made “with a pint of his own blood”). The counter-argument argues that the pieces were donated specifically to the museum, where they have hung since 1999. The family debates that, saying Kevorkian only lent the art to the museum temporarily while he was serving a lengthy prison sentence for assisting in a patient’s suicide.