Professional Art Handlers Local 814 and Occupy Museums

Please join the Professional Art Handlers Local 814 and Occupy Museums outside the main entrance of the MoMA this Friday at 6 PM to ask MoMA to cut ties to Sotheby’s.

Write up by Corinna Kirsch at Art Fag City:

Sotheby’s art handlers want MoMA to sever ties with the auction house, and they have good reason: MoMA has made millions at Sotheby’s during the art handler lockout. In November, MoMA auctioned off two paintings by Rufino Tamayo, a sale which amassed over three million dollars for MoMA’s acquisition fund…. The reason for this protest is clear-cut: the teamsters want MoMA to stop selling art through Sotheby’s.

There are at least four MoMA trustees with ties to Sotheby’s. There’s Jamie Niven (MoMA trustee and Sotheby’s US chairman), Richard Oldenburg (MoMA director emeritus and honorary trustee, former chairman and now consultant at Sotheby’s US), Danny Meyer (who runs MoMA’s three restaurants and sits on the board of directors at Sotheby’s), and Sharon Percy Rockefeller (former Sotheby’s Board Member and current President of the International Council for MoMA).

Refusing to do business with Sotheby’s might seem like a large demand, but the means to achieve this are fairly simple. Museum staff and committees can refuse to exhibit and acquire works that come directly from Sotheby’s or reject invitations to attend Sotheby’s auctions. These aren’t ridiculous demands for museum staff to consider, not when Sotheby’s has forced the 42 art handlers out of work and out of health care. All the art handlers want at this point is to be assured that every time a union worker quits, he or she is replaced with another union worker. These are very small requests.

If you can make it to MoMA, meet the Professional Art Handlers Local 814 and Occupy Museums outside the main entrance this Friday at 6 PM.