Appeals court approves Fisk agreement to monetize art

Wednesday, November 30, 2011 at 11:22am
Staff reports

Fisk University has won the latest court decision regarding its desire to enter into a share agreement of an interest of The Alfred Stieglitz collection of modern art, which contains paintings by the late Georgia O’Keeffe.

In a 2-1 decision Tuesday evening, the Appellate Court of Tennessee of Nashville ruled that a share agreement between the university and the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Ark., was appropriate.

A spokeswoman from the Tennessee Office of the Attorney General said the office was “reviewing the opinion and will be evaluating our options.”

In a press release, Fisk University President Hazel O’Leary said, “Fisk is healthier today than it was yesterday. On behalf of the many students who attend and the faithful alumni and friends, we look forward to working out the details with the Chancery Court and the Attorney General.”

Tuesday’s decision reversed an earlier court ruling that restricted Fisk’s use of the $30 million it stood to gain from the agreement.

A year ago, the chancery court ruled in favor of the $30 million share agreement, stating that Fisk was allowed to use $10 million at its discretion but restricted the remaining $20 million to an endowment, which would have been used to pay for the cost of maintaining and displaying the collection.

Fisk appealed that decision last December. The case will now return to Chancery Court to determine how the other $20 million may be used.

2 Comments on this post:

By: govskeptic on 11/30/11 at 4:29

The decision probably had nothing to do with law, , but the fact the
Institution is so strapped for cash. Better one without ownership of
the art versus being closed!

By: Jughead on 12/1/11 at 3:04

A temporary fix. Fisk can only survive through government handouts.