A controversial proposal to sell a valuable painting at the University of Iowa to raise money for scholarships has stalled at the statehouse. Representative Scott Raecker, a Republican from Urbandale, says lawmakers will no longer be considering the sale of the Jackson Pollock painting.
“Definitely it was an emotional issue on both sides, and trying to reach a consensus, I believe was going to be extremely difficult and would take up an extraordinary amount of time, and right now the legislature needs to focus on passing a budget,” Raecker said. The painting is valued at $140-million.
Raecker says talk of its sale touched a nerve, and there’s not enough time in the session to reach a consensus on the issue. Raecker says there were logical arguments made about the accreditation of the museum, about the impacts on donor relations, and about having an asset that won’t be on campus until the year 2015.
Raecker says there was disagreement about the sale even among members of the Board of Regents. Governor Branstad expressed concern during his weekly meeting with the media Monday, after philanthropist and art collector John Pappajohn weighed in against selling the painting. Branstad said the sale could have a chilling effect on future donations, but Raecker says that didn’t affect his decision to back off on his bill.
See the painting here: uima.uiowa.edu/jackson-pollock