On May 8 Maine Governor Janet Mills announced that retail stores in 12 mostly rural Maine counties would be permitted to open on May 11 with enhanced safety precautions. The opening timeline aligns with neighboring New Hampshire. Good news for dealers with open shops.
Shops in Aroostook, Piscataquis, Washington, Hancock, Somerset, Franklin, Oxford, Kennebec, Waldo, Knox, Lincoln, and Sagadahoc Counties can now legally reopen. The safety precautions include restrictions on the number of customers in a store at one time, enhanced cleaning practices, and touch-free transactions whenever possible.
The COVID-19 pandemic has put museums at serious risk. Shuttering doors has cut off many institutions from much-needed funds, leading to layoffs and furloughs and putting some near permanent closure.
Recognizing the existential threat museums are facing, the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD) has announced that it will not censure or sanction museums deciding to use restricted endowment funds, trusts, or donations for general operating expenses.
The AAMD also adopted the position that institutions may use the proceeds of deaccessioned objects to support the “direct care” of the museum’s collection. Museums must, the AAMD notes, have in place a board-approved policy outlining what expenses it considers as “direct care,” and the policy must be publicly available.
“This temporary approach is not intended to incentivize deaccessioning or the sale of art, only to provide additional flexibility on the use of the proceeds from art that may be sold,” the association said. AAMD’s longstanding principle that the proceeds from deaccessioned art may not be used for general operating expenses remains in place.
The moratorium on punitive actions will be in effect until April 10, 2022.
The AAMD should be congratulated for responsibly addressing how museums may fight for survival in these unprecedented times.
Originally published in the June 2020 issue of Maine Antique Digest. © 2020 Maine Antique Digest