The controversy that swirled around the announced plan by the Berkshire Museum in western Massachusetts to auction 40 of its art masterpieces to fund an untested “New Vision” was the top art story of 2017. The sale, which included two beloved paintings by Norman Rockwell that he personally gifted to the museum, attracted the attention of art-lovers, museum professionals, and the international press, as the case was investigated by the Massachusetts Attorney General ultimately decided by the state's Supreme Judicial Court.
Despite violating every rule of museum ethics and best practices, the sale was ultimately approved, setting in motion the potential for public institutions across the country to be raided by those trusted to their care.
Selling Norman Rockwell is an eyewitness chronicle of the Berkshire Museum case, bringing together press reports, author interviews, and commentary to record the collision of art, money, ethics, and a grassroots citizens coalition that rose up to save the art. It is a book for anyone with an interest in art, museums, and the future of our cultural institutions. Cahill is a writer and cultural critic who has covered the Berkshires since 1980. As both journalist and scholar, he has been an observer of the Berkshire Museum for more than 35 years, and his commentary on the art sale appeared in the Berkshire Eagle. He is a past fellow at the National Arts Journalism Program/Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and graduate of Yale Divinity
Timothy Cahill’s career as a cultural journalist began at the Berkshire Eagle in 1980, where he covered the Berkshire Museum extensively as a features and arts writer. As a reporter, critic, and commentator for the regional and national press, he has written extensively on Berkshire culture, including the Berkshire Museum. He was art and photography correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor from 1995 to 2006, and was a mid-career Fellow with the National Arts Jour-nalism Program at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism from 199-2000. He is the recipient of numerous awards for his cultural writing. Mr. Cahill is author of Muses in Arca- dia: Cultural Life in the Berkshires (Berkshire House/Norton 2000) and Art in Nature: The Clark Inside and Out (Sterling and Francis Clark Art Institute/Yale, 2005).
In addition to his writing, Mr. Cahill is a widely published and exhibited photographer, with work in public and private collections. From 2008 to 2013, he directed the nonprofit Center for Documentary Arts in Albany, New York, curating exhibitions and film series and writing extensively on art and social justice. His interest in culture and ethics eventually sent him to Yale Divinity School, where he earned a Masters Degree in art and theology in 2016. He is currently a writer based in upstate New York.