At the very beginning of 2008, we posted a story with the title “Chelsea Art Museum Breathing Its Last Breaths?” While the struggling museum managed to fight and stay afloat throughout both that whole year and the next, it appears that it has finally succumbed to financial pressures and will be no more. Back in August, the museum closed on what they claimed was simply a temporary basis while they worked out a financial plan to help keep them going, facing debts of many millions and a development company who wanted the building back. By October, things were looking even more grim, with the property’s lender being handed the deed to the building, essentially signing the museum’s death warrant (at least in what had been its long-time home). Though ever the fighters, the museum and its founder Dorothea Keeser vowed to battle on, the Wall Street Journal is now reporting that the building has been sold and the museum will have one year to operate in the space, rent free, before they have to vacate and find a new home. Keeser also told the paper that “she would not open another museum in New York,” which seems to more-than-imply that the fight has officially come to an end and the museum’s sad fate has finally been accepted. Now the questions of what happens with the museum’s art collection and if it will are start anew in, say, rural Kentucky, remain. Will be interesting to see how it plays out.
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