Last October, with little or no public input, the Logan School District Board of Education decided to auction off 11 of its most important paintings from its School Art Collection. These paintings were acquired during the Great Depression by the schoolchildren of Logan who each donated 10 cents from their milk fund. The selected works represent some of Utah’s greatest and most revered artists of the early 20th century. They were the children and grandchildren of our first pioneers and are an important part of our heritage. It is heartbreaking to learn that the profits from the sale will be used for “team and other student group’s travel.”
The school board cited the expense of restoration, the lack of proper storage facilities and the need for security as the reason for classifying these paintings as “surplus property.” Once the sale became public knowledge, an outcry of protest was heard from across the state. University departments, museum curators, gallery owners, schoolteachers, business leaders, state agencies, historical societies, noted historians and hundreds of students and parents have come together to sign an online petition to protest the dismantling of the School Art Collection.
Moreover, several public institutions, museums and galleries have come forward with offers of assistance in restoration, storage and security of the paintings at no cost to the school board with the promise that they would remain in the public sector and available for display. Therefore, I urge the Logan School Board to reconsider the sale of its art collection.