To the Editor:
I read with amusement the September 10 Letter to the Editor from the Berkshire Museum, “signed” by the “Berkshire Museum Board of Trustees”.
The Berkshire Museum has sent off the works of Norman Rockwell (and others) to be auctioned off to pay bills and for construction costs. In spite of the fact that the Rockwell family is against the sale, the museum is plowing ahead.
As I read the letter (a fine piece of PR fluff if ever there was one) I wondered why it was in the Berkshire Edge instead of the Berkshire Eagle? Maybe it was because in a recent meeting I had with Museum Director Van Shields and Board Member Bill Hines, Mr. Shields called an article in the Eagle an “attack”! Perhaps it was because Bill Hines implied that the Eagle structured articles to make the museum look bad. And maybe it is because I was repeatedly told that “you can’t believe everything you read in the paper”.
This is about a paper that the community cheered when it came back to local ownership, and this is the paper that initially gave the museum’s “new vision” a rave review!
And when I mentioned that even Joe Thompson, Director of MASS MoCA, suggested that the “new vision” should not include gutting the museum, Van said “Joe Thompson is entitled to his opinion.”
This is the Joe Thompson who wrote a column in the Eagle that was a huge endorsement for the museum to sell their art and enhance their endowment, yet when he strayed from course and did not endorse the entire plan, well then his words became just another opinion.
The museum has hardened itself against any criticism. No one can sway them. Welcome to the new museum.
On July 27 a Letter to the Editor was published in the Berkshire Eagle. It was against the museum’s “new vision” and at the bottom of the letter over four dozen residents of Berkshire County attached their actual names.
That is how to sign a letter.