Fisk to alumna: No thanks | Rock Candy

Fisk to alumna: No thanks

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Fisk University, the historically black university in Nashville that wants to share its collection of American masterpieces with Alice Walton's Crystal Bridges Museum for $30 million, has rejected an offer by an alumna that would provide money to maintain the collection on campus.

Charles Demuths Calla Lilies (Bert Savoy)
  • Charles Demuth's "Calla Lilies (Bert Savoy)"


Fisk says the offer ignores Fisk's big problem: It's broke, and $30 million would keep the doors to the university open. A gift to maintain the collection would not.

Here's the story in the New York Times.

Marsden Hartleys Painting No. 3
  • Marsden Hartley's "Painting No. 3"

The Alfred Stieglitz collection, donated to Fisk by Georgia O'Keeffe, includes works by American 20th century masters Charles Demuth, Marsden Hartley, John Marin, Arthur Dove and O'Keeffe, who selected which pieces from Stieglitz's collection would go to Fisk, according to a Nashville Public Television special. (Picasso, Renoir and Cezanne works are also in the collection.) The NPT program, "The Gift: The Alfred Stieglitz Collection at Fisk University," aired Sept. 8, is a one-sided affair, making no reference to the university's desire to share the collection with Crystal Bridges. It includes an interview with the alumna who wants to pay to curate the collection at Fisk.

Nashville Arts Magazine did a piece on the collection as well that includes images of some of the work in the collection (and where I found Charles Demuth and O'Keeffe images posted here). Fisk's attempt to sell the Hartley above and the O'Keeffe below some years back got the ball rolling with the 50 percent share arrangement with Walton.

OKeeffes Radiator Building -- alone worth about $20 million
  • O'Keeffe's "Radiator Building" — alone worth about $20 million

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