By Jon

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is reporting that it’s Picasso exhibition earlier in the year generated an economic impact for the state of a whopping $30m. This is according to a study undertaken by local firm Chmura Economics and Analytics. There are good reasons to be skeptical of this kind of analysis, but I can’t comment on this report as I haven’t been able to locate a copy anywhere.

However, I would point readers to the excellent Art Law blog which highlights that the benefits did not come for free, as the VMFA paid fees to bring work on loan. The blog notes that some find commercial arrangements of this type repulsive – possibly to do with the violation of intent, possibly because of the signals it sends. Either way, such an attitude is difficult to defend if the numbers in the study and reports are accurate, and in the current climate, one imagines that there will be more holding of noses than in the past.

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Update – Geoffrey_Crayon kindly pointed me in the direction of the full report in the comments, which I have now written about.

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