… is I guess what you’d call it if a public university were under pressure from a state legislature to sell a very valuable Ezra Pound manuscript in its possession… But what do you call it when it’s a Pollock?

Proceeds from the sale [of Jackson Pollock's Mural, valued at $140 million,] would go into a trust fund that would provide scholarships to University of Iowa undergraduate art majors from Iowa.

Can this painting really be worth $140 million???

An art professor comments:

“It will never happen because it would be a terrible disgrace to the state and people of Iowa,” he said. “What I think is that we should sell Kinnick [football stadium] to Illinois or sell the State Capitol. That would be much more reasonable.”

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6 Responses to ““Impoundment”…”

  1. jim Says:

    It’s certainly worth $140M until someone tries to sell it. Capax imperii nisi imperasset.

  2. theprofessor Says:

    The estimate is undoubtedly based on the sale of Pollack’s “Number 5, 1948,” which supposedly sold for $140 million in a private sale a few years ago. This work has attracted much interest, so it might go for even more, in fact.

    The concern I would have as a university president is whether I could afford the insurance and security for it.

  3. Jonathan Dresner Says:

    Granted, high-end art markets are a little depressed, but as Pollocks go, this is a really remarkable piece.

    It’s really a shame that the free-market ideology of Iowa Republicans is overwhelming the cultural conservativism which would normally dictate that they prize and preserve a great work of art. Of course, it’s modern art, so it’s heathen work. That may be the problem.

  4. Alan Allport Says:

    what do you call it?

    Never Mind the Pollocks?

  5. Margaret Soltan Says:

    Alan: Wonderful! But I had to look it up:


  6. Mike Says:

    They could raise even more money by selling off the entire collection. The library might have some valuable books and manuscripts in its collection, too. Does the music department have a grand piano? Yet another asset; easily liquidated.

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