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By John Dorsey and John Dorsey,Sun Art Critic | April 14, 1991
An appraisal of the Lucas collection of art -- which th Maryland Institute College of Art, is considering whether to sell -- has been completed by art dealer and appraiser William J. Tomlinson, who said a previous estimate of its worth as $15 million to $20 million is "much too high."The institute has been considering the sale of the 20,000-piece collection, either whole or in part, for at least two years. Virtually all of the works have been on loan to the Baltimore Museum of Art for almost 60 years, with a few pieces at the Walters Art Gallery.
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NEWS
January 12, 2003
VISITORS ARE IN for happy surprises when a wing housing five centuries of European art reopens today at the Baltimore Museum of Art. Gone are the antiseptic gallery walls. In their place, rich colors and better lighting help the museum's masterworks stand out. And there is more. Exhibit cases interspersed amid canvases display snuff boxes, silver tureens and clay miniatures. A Louis XVI-era writing table and armchair stand next to a huge oil painting. These decorative pieces, rather than being distractions, offer chances to rest and refocus eyes.
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By Holly Selby and Holly Selby,SUN STAFF | October 25, 1996
The Baltimore Museum of Art will pay $8.5 million today to the Maryland Institute, College of Art for the Lucas Collection of prints, paintings and sculptures -- an acquisition made possible in large part by the state's commitment to pay half the cost.The $8.5 million payment, which marks the end of a long-running battle over the future of the famed art collection, will be made with money from bonds issued by the Maryland Economic Development Corporation.Over the next five years, the state will pay its share -- about $4.25 million -- to the museum in $850,000 installments.
NEWS
By John Dorsey | December 29, 1996
The season of joy has passed, and the more somber season of review is upon us. In arts and entertainment, 1996 was marked by many a going (Horn & Horn lunchroom, Shakespeare on Wheels, the announcement of David Zinman's departure) and an important staying (the Lucas Collection). Bad guys (Jack Valenti with his Hollywood-friendly TV ratings system) were as likely to make news as angels (John Travolta in "Michael"), and personalities (the Michael Jackson marriage saga) got more attention than performances (Alanis Morissette's best-selling JTC album)
FEATURES
By John Dorsey and John Dorsey,Sun Art Critic | February 1, 1995
If the Lucas collection is sold out of the city by the Maryland Institute, College of Art, it will be the greatest blow to the fine arts in the history of Baltimore and Maryland. Neither the city nor the state has ever been stripped of a comparable collection. And this one has been here since 1910.Walters Art Gallery director Gary Vikan made no bones about it: "It's the third great Baltimore collection -- the Walters, the Cone and the Lucas."Imagine the uproar if there were a proposal to sell off the Walters or the Cone collection.
FEATURES
By John Dorsey and John Dorsey,Sun Art Critic | February 9, 1995
Not much of Baltimore turned out yesterday for a hastily-put-together exhibit of selections from the threatened Lucas collection at the Baltimore Museum of Art. But then, Baltimore didn't know about the exhibit.Aside from museum-connected people (a docent, a curator), four people, two local and two from Massachusetts, toured the exhibit during its first two hours.That was no surprise to Alison Cahen of the museum's public relations department, who explained that because the show was put together so quickly, there was no time to promote it: "We ordinarily have a whole public relations plan, but we couldn't do that in this case, and no one knows about the show."
FEATURES
By HOLLY SELBY and HOLLY SELBY,SUN STAFF | September 28, 1995
Baltimore Circuit Court Judge Joseph H.H. Kaplan is expected to rule later this week whether the Maryland Institute, College of Art may sell all or part of its renowned Lucas Collection -- or whether that question should be decided next spring in a trial.The collection, which includes thousands of prints, oil paintings and sculptures, was given to the institute in 1910 by Henry Walters. Considered one of the most important bequests ever made in Baltimore, it has been on loan to the Baltimore Museum of Art and the Walters Art Gallery since 1933.
FEATURES
By Holly Selby and Holly Selby,Sun Staff Writer | May 24, 1995
The Maryland Institute, College of Art this week reasserted its claim that it alone may determine the future of thousands of prints, paintings and sculptures known as the Lucas Collection.In a response filed in Baltimore City Circuit Court, the institute rejected any attempts by the Baltimore Museum of Art and the Walters Art Gallery to block the sale of the artworks.Considered one of the most important art bequests made in Baltimore, the collection has been owned by the institute since 1910.
NEWS
By Holly Selby and Holly Selby,SUN STAFF | October 7, 1995
The latest strategy for preventing the Maryland Institute, College of Art from selling its vast Lucas Collection has some professionals in the art world worried about setting a precedent that could make patrons leery of lending their work to museums.The Baltimore Museum of Art and Walters Art Gallery, which have had the collection on loan for more than 60 years, argue that if it is sold, they should receive compensation for taking care of the collection and increasing its value through 80 exhibitions.
NEWS
By Holly Selby and John Dorsey and Holly Selby and John Dorsey,Sun Staff Writers | February 6, 1995
The Maryland Institute, College of Art's decision to sell a major art collection is forcing Baltimore's cultural community to confront the troubling issue of whether institutions violate the public trust when they sell works left in their care.That question has surfaced frequently across the country -- including a highly publicized flap over an art sale last month by the New-York Historical Society -- as financial pressure prompts institutions to consider selling art to make ends meet."This is a very difficult situation," said Walter Sondheim, a longtime city leader.
FEATURES
By Holly Selby and Holly Selby,SUN STAFF | October 25, 1996
The Baltimore Museum of Art will pay $8.5 million today to the Maryland Institute, College of Art for the Lucas Collection of prints, paintings and sculptures -- an acquisition made possible in large part by the state's commitment to pay half the cost.The $8.5 million payment, which marks the end of a long-running battle over the future of the famed art collection, will be made with money from bonds issued by the Maryland Economic Development Corporation.Over the next five years, the state will pay its share -- about $4.25 million -- to the museum in $850,000 installments.
FEATURES
By John Dorsey and John Dorsey,SUN ART CRITIC | June 11, 1996
Now that the Lucas Collection has been saved for Baltimore, now that all the suspense is over, and before we go back to our daily rounds, let us recognize and be grateful for what has been done for us.Let us give thanks to the arts institutions involved, which put aside any animosities engendered along the way, as well as to the judge and all the other disinterested but profoundly concerned parties, for having come up with a solution so completely right....
FEATURES
By Holly Selby and Holly Selby,SUN STAFF | June 11, 1996
In Judge Joseph H.H. Kaplan's chambers in early May, intense negotiating over the sale of Baltimore's renowned Lucas art collection was taking place.Representatives of the Baltimore Museum of Art and the Walters Art Gallery were sequestered in his small inner office. Their opponents in court -- from the Maryland Institute, College of Art -- were in the adjoining conference room.The judge was in the middle.After 17 months of bitter legal jousting over the future of the art works, it had come to this: Several community leaders had exhausted themselves trying to mediate the dispute.
FEATURES
By Holly Selby and Holly Selby,SUN STAFF | May 15, 1996
A trial scheduled to begin today to determine the future of the Lucas Collection of prints, paintings and sculptures was postponed yesterday, as lawyers for the Baltimore Museum of Art and the Maryland Institute, College of Art apparently sought to negotiate a settlement.It is the second time this week that the trial, initially scheduled for May 13, has been delayed. However, attorneys and members of both parties are scheduled to meet today with the Circuit Judge Joseph H. H. Kaplan, according to the judge's law clerk.
FEATURES
By Holly Selby and Holly Selby,SUN STAFF | April 5, 1996
Covert strategies. Misleading statements by a college president. An inept art thief. These may sound like elements of a paperback mystery, but they're actually part of the latest exchange of accusations between three of the city's largest cultural institutions.The Baltimore Museum of Art alleges that while it was spending money to maintain the Lucas Collection, the Maryland Institute, College of Art was quietly following a secret plan to sell the art works, according to papers recently filed in court.
NEWS
By Holly Selby and Holly Selby,SUN STAFF | March 21, 1996
If the battle over one of Baltimore's most important art collections proves anything, it is that members of the city's cultural circles aren't just genteel souls who discuss esoterica at exhibition openings.They'll fight dirty if they have to or at least that's what is alleged in the latest court documents filed by the Maryland Institute, College of Art, as part of its effort to sell its famed Lucas Collection of prints, paintings and sculptures.The documents are part of a yearlong squabble in which the city's two largest museums the Baltimore Museum of Art and the Walters Art Gallery have sought to block the sale of an art collection they have housed for more than 60 years.
FEATURES
By John Dorsey and John Dorsey,Sun Art Critic | August 23, 1995
There could hardly be a better argument for keeping the Lucas Collection in Baltimore than the exhibit "Parallels and Precedents," opening today at the Baltimore Museum of Art.It shows that the Lucas Collection fits into Baltimore's holdings of 19th- and early 20th-century art like pieces in a jigsaw puzzle, like threads in a tapestry. Take away the Lucas works by #F Daumier and Corot, Boudin and Constant, Whistler and Manet, and you leave the Monets and Pissarros and Matisses in other Baltimore collections with less context.
FEATURES
By John Dorsey and John Dorsey,Sun Art Critic | January 31, 1991
A report assessing the 20,000-piece Lucas Collection of 19th-century art -- which the Maryland Institute, College of Art, is considering whether or not to sell, either in whole or in part -- has stirred "the gravest possible concern," said one museum official here. Baltimore Museum of Art deputy director Brenda Richardson said yesterday that the findings "would seem . . . to be a clear potential threat" to the works' remaining in Baltimore.The report, commissioned by the Institute and released this week, says the collection "excels" in prints but indicates that other aspects, including paintings and bronzes, are of less importance and/or better represented in other city collections.
NEWS
By John Dorsey and John Dorsey,SUN ART CRITIC | December 31, 1995
At the end of most years, one can look back on the local art scene with some satisfaction. In addition to the outstanding shows to be remembered, there's usually the opening of a new museum building or of a local gallery, or some other advance to be noted. That's true this year, too. But it's also true that in 1995 the major pluses were balanced to an unusual degree, unfortunately, by major minuses.A grand opening. On the plus side, the opening on Nov. 24 of the American Visionary Art Museum at the Inner Harbor gave Baltimore a significant new museum, a great step for the city.
NEWS
October 14, 1995
Protecting Baltimore's Lucas collectionJudge Joseph Kaplan undoubtedly knows fine points of the law but does he fully understand the mandate and role of museums? His decision that permits the Maryland Institute of Art to sell the Lucas collection would indicate he falls into the common misconception that museums are mausoleums -- places where inert, long-dead items are stored, some displayed to satisfy current taste or whimsy. Unfortunate.Museums are not guardians of the irrelevant, unless one subscribes to the trendy, mindless rejection of the output of all dead white European males.
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