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Post-MoMA Sale, American Folk Art Museum Considering Closing, Donating Collection to Other Museums

At last we left the American Folk Art Museum in New York, back in early summer, it had been partially saved by the crippling debt that had long weighed it down by selling one of the central causes for said debt, the Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects-designed tower it had built just several years prior, to the Museum of Metropolitan Art for $31.2 million. That influx of money was intended to not only lift the burden of building ownership entirely, but leave the museum with a bit extra to start fresh in their new home, a much smaller space in the city’s Lincoln Square neighborhood. However, apparently even that plan might not be enough to save the museum. The NY Times reports that the “financial picture has grown so bleak” that now the Folk Art’s trustees are thinking about closing it down permanently and donating its entire collection to a number of other museums. The paper reports that staffers are fighting to keep the museum alive, but it might already be too late, with its leaders already in talks with both the Brooklyn Museum and the Smithsonian. How exactly it got from being saved by the sale to MoMA to once again preparing to call it quits under dire circumstances is unclear. For now, all the museum has said is that it’s looking into options.

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