Less than a month before the first scheduled sale at Sotheby's of ancient and other artworks being de-accessioned from the collection of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, N.Y., the Erie County Legislature will examine the controversial plan. The Times has learned that today's meeting of the Community Enrichment Committee, which oversees cultural nonprofits that receive county funding, will include a potential bombshell.
Representatives of Buffalo Art Keepers, a group opposed to the sale and led by Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Carl Dennis, say they will present a copy of the gallery's 1987 Collection Management Policy. A list of eight guidelines for de-accessions mandates "No sale of masterpieces" or "very important works." Numerous collection works headed for Sotheby's fit those descriptions, by the gallery's and the auction house's own estimation.