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Berkshire Museum Ends Art Sale After Reaching Fundraising Goal

The Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield as seen in 2013. (Berkshire Museum/Wikimedia Commons)
The Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield as seen in 2013. (Berkshire Museum/Wikimedia Commons)

Last year, the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield drew international condemnation for its decision to raise money by selling dozens of artworks, including two by Norman Rockwell. Now, the western Massachusetts museum says it only needed to sell about half the pieces it planned to reach its goal.

The museum announced Tuesday that selling 22 works raised more than $53 million. It had planned to sell up to 40 pieces. The museum said there will be no further sales.

Officials, citing the museum's dire financial straits, announced in 2017 they needed to sell the works to stay open, bolster the endowment, and fund a renovation as it refocused its mission away from art and toward natural history and science.

The sale of the Rockwell pieces was opposed because the illustrator lived in nearby Stockbridge.

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