The art world has been surprised recently by the discovery of a rare glass mosaic by Picasso at the Evansville Museum of Arts, History, and Science. The piece had been mislabeled in Indiana for the past few decades, packed away in a storage crate. The piece will be sold by Guernsey’s of New York.
“Although the museum owns some works from banner names like Georgia O’Keeffe and Renoir, its entire art collection is valued at only $10 million. Its recent expansion was devoted to building up its interactive science exhibitions, including a theater.
The museum declined to specify what changes would be needed and how much they would cost, but caring for an extremely valuable work can be burdensome. Advancements in technology have made protection more affordable, said Robert Marentette, the security chief at the Art Gallery of Hamilton in Ontario, but the added that costs of securing such works can “suck revenue out of tight operating budgets.” Insurance premiums can also be extremely expensive, he added.
“The bottom line is and will always be the level of risk one decides to operate under,” he said. “In this case it seems the risk and associated costs are high and not acceptable to the board and members.” ” – NYT