Fisk Art Sale Goes Through — But What's This About 'Future Owner?'

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In the City Paper, Pierce Greenberg has details of the proceedings yesterday that settled Fisk University's seven-year battle to sell a $30 million half-interest in its prestigious Alfred Stieglitz Collection. The buyer, Wal-Mart heiress Alice Walton, will alternate two-year shifts with Fisk, housing the collection every two years at her Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Fayetteville, Ark.

Greenberg seizes upon a detail in the settlement that doesn't exactly raise long-term hopes for the collection's stay in Nashville, or for the historic university's future:

According to court documents filed today, Fisk will set aside $3.9 million to create a fund through the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee which will serve the sole purpose of maintaining the art collection.

The Fund for the Care of the Alfred Stieglitz Collection at Fisk University can be utilized by Fisk “or any future owner of Fisk University’s fifty percent ownership interest in the collection,” according to the agreement.

"Future owner?" Maybe that's a legal formality, but it would also seem to indicate something of a slippery slope. Read Greenberg's whole article here.

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