Friday, February 29, 2008
Tennessee Court Rejects Fisk University's Cy Pres Petition Seeking to Sell Donated O'Keeffe Collection: Fisk Survival at Stake
In Fisk University v. Georgia O'Keeffe Foundation, (full text of the opinion) a Tennessee chancery court declined to apply the cy pres doctrine in a manner that would allow struggling Fisk University to sell all or part of the artwork donated by the late, great artist Georgia O'Keeffe. The Court acknowledged Fisk's dire circumstances but concluded that the law requires that it not allow Fisk to sell the artwork despite the fact that Fisk is in critical condition. The Court also ruled that the case should proceed to trial to determine whether Fisk's violation of the terms of the gift allows the gift to revert to a secondary beneficiary. Things are looking bad for W.E.B. Dubois' alma mater. For an interesting critique of the opinion, see Jack Siegel's column.