Statement from Fisk University Regarding Chancellor Lyle’s Memorandum and Order of November 3rd
11/4/2010 11:45:45 AM
Fisk announced on yesterday that the Chancery Court in Davidson County has approved its request to enter into a sharing agreement with the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art under which that Museum would acquire an undivided one-half interest in the Stieglitz Art Collection in return for a payment of $30 million. The Court also ruled that Fisk may only have the discretionary use of $10 million of the proceeds and that the remainder of the funds are to be placed in an endowment fund and used solely for the costs of displaying and maintaining the art.
Fisk President Hazel R. O’Leary said: “We are pleased with the Court’s ruling that we can consummate the sharing agreement with Crystal Bridges. However, the Court’s decision to restrict $20 million of the funds so that interest from the endowment is used to support the art is excessive. This is because the income from the $20 million restricted endowment is approximately $1,000,000 annually. This far exceeds the amount necessary to secure and maintain the Collection. The evidence we presented to the Court in oral testimony was that our costs to display and maintain the Collection is approximately $130,000 per year. Further, Alice Walton has agreed to fund an endowment of $1,000,000 which is to be used for the support and maintenance of the Collection.” Clearly, the funds that will be produced from this endowment will generate many times the amount actually needed to maintain the gallery, support the Collection and provide for art education.
President O’Leary also noted the Attorney General proposed to the Court that a $1.6 million endowment be established to generate approximately $130,000 per year for the care and maintenance of the Collection.
President O’Leary indicated that she is studying the 35 page ruling and will discuss it with her Board and Fisk’s lawyers before deciding how to proceed.