Fisk University May Finally See Some Light at the End of the Tunnel in Its Effort to Raise Money From Its Collection of Art

The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico, has dropped a lawsuit against Fisk University, the historically black educational institution in Nashville. The museum opposed Fisk’s plans to sell two paintings from its Stieglitz Collection which had been donated to the university by Georgia O’Keeffe with the stipulation that the collection remain intact at the university. A proposed settlement where one painting would have been sold to the museum and another would be sold on the open market was rejected by the Tennessee attorney general and a state judge.

But a more lucrative offer for Fisk University may be agreeable to all parties. Alice Walton, one of several heirs to the Wal-Mart fortune, has offered to pay Fisk $30 million for the right to display the entire collection at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas, for six months each year. This museum is scheduled to open in 2009.

The specifics of the deal are yet to be worked out. And the courts and the state attorney general would have to agree with the arrangement.