The Tennessee Supreme Court said Monday it will not let Attorney General Bob Cooper appeal a lower-court decision to allow Fisk University to share its Stieglitz Collection with the Crystal Bridges Museum in Arkansas.
One of the items that must be sorted out in chancery court is whether that fund is large enough for the task at hand. Fisk also must show that the gallery where it displays the collection on campus has been adequately refurbished.
Blake Farmer was at the Tennessee Court of Appeals Tuesday listening to proceedings in the Fisk University Stieglitz collection case. The judges and the Attorney General's Office are sympathetic to the school's financial woes, he said, but that won't get Fisk President Hazel O'Leary very far.
Senior Counsel Janet Kleinfelter from the Attorney General’s office says she has compassion for Fisk’s situation but the state is concerned about a chilling effect on philanthropy. “We could back down, but the consequences of that for future charitable giving for the state of Tennessee are just tremendous. I mean, think about it.”
WPLN's Blake Farmer has an update on the Fisk University Stieglitz collection case, which is five weeks from a Tennessee Court of Appeals hearing. A group of alumni have submitted a brief with the court saying they don't want the art to be sold because of the possible impact on the university's ability to recruit future donors. Perhaps more importantly, they also suggest Fisk administrators are dramatizing their financial situation.
They point to a newsletter from the university sent out as recently as April that touts “fundraising progress” and surpassing a goal to raise $3 million. The alumni say Fisk’s credibility is – quote – “quite regrettably, squarely in question.”
The Tennessee Attorney General on Monday filed an appeal in a court case that would allow Fisk University to sell a $30 million share of its Stieglitz Collection of art to the Crystal Bridges Museum of Art in Arkansas. The state is argues that if the sale goes forward, it could deter other donors from giving to Tennessee schools and museums. The Tennessean has the story, here.