MUSEUMS: WHITE ELEPHANT PARADE

IN A REVOLUTIONARY MOVE TO WIN SPACE AND FUNDS, ARTIFACTS GATHERING DUST IN STORAGE ARE PUT UP FOR A GARAGE SALE

The museum was suffocating from generosity. Benefactors had given so many objects to the Denver Art Museum over the decades that it had to close off an entire floor of its seven-story building just to store the relics--everything from paintings, sculptures, furniture and jewelry to clocks, ceramics and borderline junk. At the same time that most of this largesse was pouring in, the museum's annual endowment for strategic art purchases was a miserly $40,000. It was famine amid fat. And so museum director Lewis Sharp came to a decision not just to cut the fat but to sell it. Says he:...

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