- The Association of Art Museum Directors issued sanctions against Virginia's Randolph College over its sale of George Bellows' "Men of the Docks," the second of four paintings its board of trustees voted to sell in 2007.
- The college sold the painting for $25.5 million to London's National Gallery of Art in a bid to boost its endowment, and the sanctions are the result of the use of the funds on operations.
- Under the sanctions, AAMD members are called on to suspend all collaborations with Randolph's Maier Museum of Art, and four museums plan to do so thus far.
Further exacerbating this issue are claims by Randolph officials that the Maier Museum isn't a "museum" (it also isn't a member of the AAMD). With the sanction now in effect, AAMD President Timothy Rub is asking that museums have staff review loan requests or exhibition partnerships with Maier.
Randolph's president, Bradley Bateman, doesn't seem too taken aback by the sanction, the impact of which he says will be "relatively small," nor does he seem moved by calls from the community to halt the sale of the remaining two pieces out of the four. Edward Hicks’ “Peaceable Kingdom” and Ernest Hennings’ “Through the Arroyo” are currently in storage, where he says they are unlikely to return from (at least until they are sold, of course).
One thing is certain: Whether selling the paintings is the right thing to do for the betterment of the college or not, this is just one more example of the hard choices some colleges have been forced to make in light of funding crunches.