Museum to Sell Much-loved Masterpiece in Exchange for Modest Painting: Bouguereau's Bohemienne to be Replaced by Moore's Battledore at MIA

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Minneapolis Institute of Arts proposes to sell much-loved Bouguereau masterpeice Bohemienne at ChristieÂ?s this month, and will replace it with inferior painting Battledore by Moore. The Art Renewal Center placed an ad in the Minneapolis Star Tribune protesting the de-accessioning.

Minneapolis Institute of Arts proposes to sell much-loved Bouguereau masterpeice Bohemienne at Christie’s this month, and will replace it with inferior painting Battledore by Moore. The Art Renewal Center placed an ad in the Minneapolis Star Tribune protesting the de-accessioning.

Her big brown eyes will once again appeal to the public for help. Not for relief from personal poverty this time, but for help from the art-loving public to stay in her home. She is the world-renowned Bohemienne by W. A. Bouguereau, an exquisitely conceived and executed 19th century painting featuring a young peasant girl and her violin, perhaps soon to be evicted from her long-time home at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (MIA). Painting Curator Patrick Noon proposes to sell the Bouguereau masterpiece at Christie's this month, in order to purchase a lesser work by Albert Moore, and some Bohemienne supporters are rushing to her aid.

The not-for-profit 501C3 educational foundation known as ARC, the Art Renewal Center, a champion of Bouguereau and many other unsung artists, has taken out an ad in the Minneapolis Star Tribune today to bring the matter into public awareness. Publicly-funded, tax-supported institutions like the MIA are accountable to the public for their decisions, and ARC wants to be sure that the public is aware of what may be done in its name, in this case.

Says ARC Chairman Fred Ross, "They are willfully ignoring the will and wishes of their constituents, and the advice of top experts in the field."

Auction sales records (http://www.artprice.com) support ARC's assessment of Moore's work as a lesser value, showing Moore pieces trading for around $200,000 USD in recent sales, while Bouguereaus, when they come to auction, fetch prices in the range of $500-850,000.

See the ARC article at http://www.artrenewal.org/articles/2004/Minneapolis/shameful1.asp, which includes commentary by such experts as Vern Swanson of the Springville Museum, Utah, and Damien Bartoli of the Bouguereau Catalogue Raisonné committee.

ARC recommends that anyone interested in the painting's plight write to the museum and the editor of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, expressing their disagreement with the museum’s de-accession decision. A swell of support from the patrons and public of MIA may be enough to ensure a permanent home for Bouguereau's little beauty.

The Art Renewal Center, ARC, is the most popular art museum on the Internet, with nearly 30,000 images. See http://www.artrenewal.org
ARC promotes a return to high standards of training and discipline in the fine arts of painting and sculpture, and supports qualified fine-art schools and yearly scholarship competitions, as well as juried art contests such as the recent First International ARC Salon.

Fred Ross is Chairman of the Art Renewal Center, and has been a featured speaker at Sotheby's, the Dahesh Museum, and the Wadsworth Atheneum, among others. He holds a Master's in Art Education from Columbia University, and along with his wife Sherry owns one of the foremost collections of 19th Century European paintings. He is currently Executive Administrator of the Committee to write the Catalog Raisonné of William Bouguereau.

Contact:

Fred Ross

Phone: 732-636-2060 ext. 602

Additional contact information:

The Minneapolis Institute of Arts

http://www.artsmia.org
2400 Third Avenue South, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55404

The Director, Evan Maurer: (612) 870-3222

Head Curator’s office: (612) 870-3221

Main switchboard: (612) 870-3000

The Minneapolis Star Tribune

http://www.startribune.com

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Fred Ross