Bloomberg is reporting this morning that what-is-left-of-Mayor-Rahm will be selling off a painting by the great African American painter, Kerry James Marshall, titled Knowledge and Wonder.
Estimated at $10 million to $15 million, the work was commissioned for the Legler Branch Library in 1995 for $10,000.
It will be auctioned off by Christies to the highest bidder and most likely removed from public view.
Rahm says the money is necessary for much needed work on the Legler Branch Library on Chicago’s west side, which was downgraded years ago from its status as a regional branch.
Earlier this year, Chicago’s Metropolitan Pier & Exposition Authority sold Marshall’s “Past Times” painting for $21.1 million at Sotheby’s to Sean Combs. It had been commissioned for $25,000 in 1997. The sale established Marshall, 62, as the most expensive living black artist at auction.
It seems as if Kerry James Marshall’s paintings are keeping Chicago afloat.
Like Chicago’s school board, the library board is unelected and made up of mayoral appointees.
What does the community around Legler library feel about the library board selling off part of the community’s artistic legacy?
They have no voice in this decision.
The problem is that there is not a source of sustainable revenue for our public institutions. Our schools and our libraries. So mayors Daley and Rahm were and are willing to sell off our public assets.
The sales or our assets are one-time deals. There will be no such deal next year unless they sell off more of our stuff.
What do the current crop of candidates for Chicago mayor say about this?
Please ask them.