Fisk Art Sale Case Back in Court...Again

Feb 1, 2012

NASHVILLE, Tenn (AP/WMOT) — The state of Tennessee is appealing an appeals court ruling in a dispute over Fisk University's effort to generate cash from an art collection donated to the school by the late painter Georgia O'Keeffe.

O'Keeffe stipulated that the collection could not be sold or broken up. But Fisk has argued it needs to complete a $30 million deal to sell a 50 percent stake in the collection to the Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville, Ark.

Here's what Tennessee Attorney Bob Cooper told WMOT about the case.

"That would have a seriously harmful impact on charitable giving in Tennessee. If donors don't think that there wishes will be respected in the future, when they're no longer around, then they'll be less willing to make the gift."

As it now stands, the artworks would move between the Nashville school and an Arkansas museum every two years.