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Trial Set for September in Fisk Dispute Over Works Donated by O’Keeffe

A Tennesseejudge has postponed a trial to determine whether Fisk University can sell any of the 101works of art donated by artist Georgia O’Keeffe in 1949.

The trial originally was set for next Monday, but has beendelayed until Sept. 18.

Last month, Davidson County Chancellor Ellen Hobbs Lyleordered the historically black Nashville university not to sell any of theworks in the Alfred Stieglitz Collection, noting they were donated to be usedfor art education.

The collection, compiled by Stieglitz, O’Keeffe’sphotographer husband, includes works by Picasso, Cezanne, Renoir andToulouse-Lautrec, as well as two O’Keeffes. Lyle ruled that dividing thecollection “destroys the identity and effect of the charitable purpose (ofO’Keeffe’s gift).”

Fisk, which is trying to raise funds to replenish itsendowment, has been fighting a legal battle since 2005 over whether it couldsell two works O’Keeffe’s “Radiator Building Night, New York” andMarsden Hartley’s “Painting No. 3.”

The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, N.M., whichrepresents the late painter’s estate, has sued the university for violating theterms of O’Keeffe’s bequest. O’Keeffe died in 1986.

Tennessee Attorney General Bob Cooper in April ordered Fisknot to sell “Radiator Building Night, New York” to the museum for $7million after other bids were submitted for as much as $25 million.

Information from: The Santa Fe New Mexican,

– Associated Press

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