Museums Struggle with Restrictions of Donor Intent

February 5th, 2013

A work Goya Donated to Brooklyn Museum in 1931, via New York TimesThe Brooklyn Museum is currently attempting to overturn an agreement made in 1931 that specified that a large donated collection be kept together after the owner’s death, despite the issue that a quarter of the works have since been determined forgeries, misattributed, or “not of museum quality.”  The case highlights the thorny issue of donor intent, which can occasionally hold an institution to untenable standards with regards to its collection and gifts.  “A respect for donor intent is essential for philanthropic integrity.” said Adam Meyerson, president of the Philanthropy Roundtable.  However, “You’re not serving donor intent if you go bankrupt.”

Read more at The New York Times