News Archive

College Will Sell Painting in Latin American Auction

Message from the President

4/25/2008 8:59:45 AM


Dear Community Members,

The College has been clear about its intent to move forward with the sale of four paintings as part of its plan to strengthen the College's financial base, bring revenues and expenses more into line, and lower the endowment spending rate to a sustainable level. The College had expected to realize approximately $50 million from the sale of the paintings in November 2007, based on market conditions at the time. However, opponents secured a temporary injunction enjoining the sale. The injunction was lifted in February 2008 when the plaintiffs failed to post the full $1 million bond, and the plaintiffs filed a motion in March to withdraw their lawsuit in Lynchburg Circuit Court.

Our need to infuse the endowment has not changed. By not selling the paintings in the auctions last November when there was a very strong art market, the College was unable to add the sale proceeds to our endowment.

Since February, the College has been evaluating the art market. Our advisors indicate that this is an advantageous time to take Rufino Tamayo's Trovador (Troubadour) to auction. The painting will be placed in the Latin American auction at Christie's in New York in May.

The College will make a decision regarding the other three paintings based on market conditions and will sell them when it is financially advantageous for the College to do so. We remain committed to ensuring the long term financial strength and educational vitality of this institution.

John E. Klein


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CONTACT: Brenda Edson, Director of College Relations