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Judge nixes proposal to sell stake in Georgia O'Keeffe collection

August 20, 2010 |  4:54 pm

Radiator The fate of a trove of artwork donated by Georgia O'Keeffe to Fisk University took another twist Friday when a judge rejected the school's proposal to sell a stake in the collection to a museum.

The financially troubled Fisk University, which is based in Nashville, had proposed to sell a 50% stake in the 101-piece art collection to the Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville, Ark. But a judge in Nashville struck down the idea, saying that it doesn't meet the terms of O'Keeffe's donation, according to an Associated Press report.

O'Keeffe gave the 101-piece collection to the school in 1949. In recent years, Fisk has attempted to sell pieces of the collection in an attempt to raise money, but the school has run into a number of legal challenges along the way. The collection is in storage since Fisk has stated that it doesn't have the resources to display it.

A report earlier this week from Nashville Public Radio (WPLN-FM, 90.3) stated that the university might have to suspend operations if the judge ruled against it.

Judge Ellen Hobbs Lyle ordered Friday that the the state attorney general offer a "Nashville-based solution" within 20 days.

-- David Ng

Photo: O'Keeffe's "Radiator Building -- Night, New York," which is part of the collection owned by Fisk University. Credit: Associated Press

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