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Norman Rockwell's three sons have withdrawn from a lawsuit against The Berkshire Museum, which wants to sell one of their father's paintings from its collection.

Protestors at the The Berkshire Museum in 2017.
JD Allen / WAMC

The Berkshire Museum says it and the Massachusetts attorney general's office are moving forward on an agreement related to the museum's future and its controversial decision two sell two Norman Rockwell artworks to fund an expansion. The agreement was announced late Friday. As part of the deal, which must be approved by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, the museum would sell Rockwell's "Shuffleton's Barbershop," not at a Sotheby's auction as originally planned, to an unnamed American nonprofit museum. That buyer has agreed to display the artwork and to loan it to the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge for 18-24 months. It also will consider loaning it to other Massachusetts museums in the years to follow.

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Since last summer, the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, Massachusetts has been trying to sell part of its collection including two Normal Rockwell paintings to raise an estimated $60 million for an endowment and a major renovation. But the sale has been put on hold by lawsuits and legal maneuverings as citizens groups, the state and members of the Rockwell family question the legality and wisdom of the art sales. Now there may be a resolution on the horizon. 

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The Massachusetts Attorney General and the Berkshire Museum have agreed to settle a dispute over the sale of 40 artworks from the museum’s collection. The two offices released a joint statement Monday.

JD Allen / WAMC

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey expects to complete her investigation into the Berkshire Museum by the end of January.

Berkshire Museum Director Returns To Work

Dec 27, 2017
JD Allen / WAMC

The Berkshire Museum’s executive director is returning to work amid a controversial plan to sell off art to fund renovations and an endowment. 

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The Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office has fired back at the Berkshire Museum, which calls the inquiry into the museum’s planned art sale meritless. 

Image by the architects, ARCADE. Courtesy Berkshire Museum.

The Berkshire Museum says the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office request to extend its inquiry into the Pittsfield museum’s controversial art sale is without merit. 

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The Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office wants more time to investigate the Berkshire Museum’s controversial art sale. 

Berkshire Museum Seeks Trial In Lower Court

Dec 5, 2017
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The Berkshire Museum is renewing calls for a trial at a lower court in Pittsfield, Massachusetts to settle the legal battle over its art controversial sale. The museum wants to sell off art from its collection to fund an endowment and expansion.

JD Allen / WAMC

The legal dispute over the controversial plan to sell art to fund an expansion and endowment at the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, Massachusetts is moving to a higher court in Boston. 

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A member of the Berkshire Museum’s Collections Committee has stepped down amid a controversial plan to sell art to fund an expansion and endowment at the Pittsfield, Massachusetts museum. A judge temporarily halted the sale November 10th.

Berkshire Museum Calls For An Expedited Trial

Nov 15, 2017
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The Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, Massachusetts is seeking an expedited trial in the legal battle to sell art, including two works by Norman Rockwell, to fund a renovation and endowment.  

Protestors at the The Berkshire Museum in 2017.
JD Allen / WAMC

The controversial sale of art from the Berkshire Museum’s collection was planned for today at Sotheby’s auction house in New York City – but late last week an appeals court judge approved a one-month injunction. 

Protestors at the The Berkshire Museum in 2017.
JD Allen / WAMC

A rally oustside the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, Massachusetts Saturday drew crowds of educators, artists and residents who cheered the news that a controversial art sale has been halted — for now.

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The Massachusetts Attorney General’s office has filed an appeal against a judge’s ruling this week allowing the sale of 40 artworks at the Berkshire Museum to go forward. 

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 A Berkshire County court has denied a preliminary injunction to halt the Berkshire Museum's sale of 40 artworks, including two by Norman Rockwell, to fund capital improvements and an endowment. 

JD Allen / WAMC

The Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office has filed an emergency motion to halt the Berkshire Museum’s art sales, including two works by Norman Rockwell. It follows Wednesday’s hearing for a preliminary injunction.

JD Allen / WAMC

A Berkshire Superior Court judge is considering a preliminary injunction to halt the Berkshire Museum’s sale of 40 artworks, including two Norman Rockwells, to fund capital improvements and an endowment. 

Massachusetts Attorney General's office

Massachusetts’ Attorney General has joined the three sons of Norman Rockwell in calling for a temporary restraining order against the Berkshire Museum to prevent the controversial sale of 40 pieces of art, including two works by the American artist, to fund an expansion and an endowment at the Pittsfield museum. 

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Nearby residents and members of the Pittsfield, Massachusetts-based Berkshire Museum are suing in hopes of halting a controversial art sale. 

Sotheby's

The Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, Massachusetts is delaying the Sotheby’s sale of some of its artwork. 

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Amid a controversial plan to sell off art to fund renovations and an endowment, the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, Massachusetts will be under temporary leadership. 

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A law firm has filed a motion for a temporary restraining order against the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield on behalf of the three sons of Norman Rockwell. 

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With a controversial art auction set for next month, the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield has cut off talks with the Massachusetts Cultural Council.  

Sotheby's

The family of Norman Rockwell reportedly asked the state attorney general’s office last week to stop the sale of two of the artist’s works from the Berkshire Museum’s collection. The Pittsfield, Massachusetts museum plans to sell off 40 objects to fund renovations and an endowment.

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Opponents of the Berkshire Museum’s plan to sell off 40 objects to fund renovations and an endowment fund are planning to make a final push to stop the sale, which includes two Norman Rockwell works. The Sotheby’s auction, set to begin in November, is expected to fetch $68 million. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief JD Allen sat down with Pittsfield Mayor Linda Tyer to discuss her support of the city’s museum.

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Two trustees have stepped down from the Berkshire Museum board amid a controversial plan to sell art to fund an expansion and endowment at the Pittsfield, Massachusetts museum. 

Image by the architects, ARCADE. Courtesy Berkshire Museum.

The Massachusetts Cultural Council is urging the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield to halt its planned art sale. 

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As controversy has swirled around a Pittsfield museum’s plan to sell parts of its permanent collection to fund a multi-million dollar expansion and future vision, a local state representative is supporting the institution’s leadership.

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