Saturday, March 8, 2008
In 1949, Georgia O'Keeffe donated 101 of her paintings, including Radiator Building -- Night, New York (left) to Fisk University. As CBS reports, O'Keeffe's donation required that the paintings not be sold and be kept on permanent display. Fisk University, however, is in financial distress and, according to The New York Times, a Tennessee judge last month enjoined Fisk from selling a half-interest in the artworks to the Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville, Arkansas, for $30 million.
The Georgia O'Keeffe Museum in New Mexico, representing Ms. O'Keeffe's estate, sued in Tennessee to recover the paintings from Fisk, alleging a breach of the terms of the 1949 donation. Judge Ellen Hobbs Lyle ruled that Fisk may not sell the paintings, but it will not have to give them up. The ruling may put Fisk's continued existence at risk.