Emergency Motion! Berkshire Museum dramatic courtroom hearing

loose lips might sink ships goff poster.png

WWII poster, Loose Lips might Sink Ships  Seymour R Goff (“essargee“) From 1934-43, milions of New Deal and Works Progress Administration (WPA) posters (original silkscreens, woodcuts and lithos) were created from nearly 35, 000 designs for various government agencies. All the poster divisions were transferred to the War Department by 1942. Seagram sponsored this one.

On Wednesday, November 1, 2017, there was a hearing in Berkshire Superior Court concerning efforts to block the upcoming Sotheby’s sale of Berkshire Museum art. Judge John Agostini presided over the hearing. Apparently the plaintiff cases were not enough; the Attorney General’s office filed an emergency motion DURING yesterday’s two hour hearing. There was a large audience. More than one observer felt that the courtroom scene looked like a Norman Rockwell painting. Judge Agostini said he will make his decision soon.
Here’s the conclusion from The Berkshire Eagle article by Larry Parnass (they’ll be getting awards for their coverage):
Trustees acted unreasonably, she said, by treating the art collection as “fungible.”
The term refers to a commodity that can be traded for something else, such as cash.
Instead, Aladro said, the board turned away from its “core legacy” as a museum and took steps that will sever its connection to cultural institutions it needs to hold future exhibitions. “You ask what the museum did wrong,” Keating said to the judge. “They violated their own written policies.”  Briefs filed in the case show that trustees voted to sign a contract with Sotheby’s weeks before removing provisions from policies that prohibited selling art in the way it intends. Keating also accused trustees of secrecy. “They knew there would be pushback. They didn’t want to face this.” He pointed to an email sent last May by the trustees president, Elizabeth McGraw, that asked fellow trustees to keep quiet. The subject line of the email read, “Loose lips sink ships.” “They didn’t want this ship sunk,” Keating said. 
Save the Art Save the Museum Facebook https://www.facebook.com/savetheartsavethemuseum/
See prior posts on GMG
 A few more examples of WPA era posters

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