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Thursday, September 7, 2006

Modern Art Notes Has Harsh Words for Seattle Art Museum

Posted by on September 7 at 10:11 AM

In this piece two weeks ago, I asked why, after several requests, I wasn’t getting information from the Seattle Art Museum about the artworks it has been deaccessioning. To be fair, director Mimi Gates wasn’t in town when I wrote the piece, so she didn’t have a chance to respond that time, but I had made the requests repeatedly over the course of months, and gotten nowhere.

Now leading blogger Tyler Green of Modern Art Notes has his say about the matter, and it isn’t pretty.

What the Seattle Art Museum seems to be doing isn’t only wrong, it diminishes the public trust in and the public faith in the institution. It is a blunder of the first order. The museum should be ashamed.

If the Association of Art Museum Directors was a useful organization and not a wimpy invertebrate, this would be the kind of offense that gets Gates publicly reprimanded by her peers, at least. Of course that won’t happen — AAMD has all the teeth of a wet mop. Time to start explaining, Ms. Gates.


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I don't think the second link copied correctly, Jen.

Thanks much. Should be fixed now.

Jen, this sounds fascinating, and I'd love to know what this is all about. What, perchance, is "deaccessioning"?

Whoa, sounds like somebody needs to call a wah-bulance. Would tyler like some french cries with that wah-burger?

People in Seattle love to feel upset about something so they can feel morally superior. Who cares what the Art Museum does really? It has a crappy collection. But yeah let's me outraged about Mimi Gates! For Shame! The Horror! I am so upset, you should be too!

Our Museum was world class when our libary was still an example of former world-classness. (Actually, we didn't know about world-class when the old library was built, but we were told it was just as nice as any in San Francisco)

A famous guy designed our museum. Isn't that enough. Why do you people have to bug me about my junk all the time? Henry Yesler never did that.

I liked the old Seattle before all the dumbasses moved here from Madison Wisconsin and started bleating "world class" "woooorld class". Seattle was a sleepy, run down romantic place of foggy alleys and crappy diners with grumpy ancient waitresses.


I'd trade all the eggplant sandwiches in the world for a 2am meal at the old Dog House. I trade every issue of The Stranger for one more Rocket.

Let me see if I'm getting this correct:

The SAM, which is currently building a waterfront sculpture park that has already garnered international recognition (making it, I suppose, world class), AND which is building a huge new addition to its existing downtown building (considered inadequate ever since it opened), AND which recently upgraded the Asian Art Museum, with more improvements planned, may or may not have sold works from its collection, possibly as recently as 2003.

Forgive me, but where is the story?

Tyler Green's blog only refers back to Graves' original story. That hardly lends it much credence.

It wouldn't surprise me if Ms. Gates felt that her time is better spent dealing with other projects currently on the museum's plate than responding to demands and unfounded accusations from a so-called journalist.

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