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Berkshire Museum Uses Proceeds From Controversial Art Sales To Fund Upgrades

The Berkshire Museum hopes to fully reopen this summer with a new look financed by proceeds from the controversial sale of several pieces of artwork.

A new sewer line, a nearly-complete freight elevator and waterproofing of the museum building are part of the upgrades, which also include adding “pocket” galleries, new restrooms, oak flooring and improved LED lighting on the second floor, The Berkshire Eagle reported.

Jeff Rodgers, executive director of the Pittsfield museum founded in 1903, said during an online public briefing this week that the work is funded entirely by money received from the 2018 art auctions, which brought in more than $50 million. The current work is costing about $3.5 million.

“It’s going to allow us to activate our second floor in ways that we have not been able to in the past,” he said.

The museum is open now only by appointment. Rodgers said he hopes the coronavirus pandemic lessens enough by late summer to allow people to see the big changes coming to areas that haven’t been modernized in decades.

More work is planned for the first floor in the future, he said.

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