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2009

Entertainment, Arts, and Sports Law

Duke Law Student Papers Series

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Art Deaccessions And The Limits Of Fiduciary Duty, Sue Chen Jun 2009

Art Deaccessions And The Limits Of Fiduciary Duty, Sue Chen

Duke Law Student Papers Series

Art deaccessions prompt lawsuits against museums, and some commentators advocate using the stricter trust standard of care, instead of the prevailing corporate standard (business judgment rule), to evaluate the conduct of non‑profit museum boards. This Article explores the consequences of adopting the trust standard by applying it to previously unavailable deaccession policies of prominent art museums. It finds that so long as museum boards adhere to these policies, their decisions would satisfy the trust standard. This outcome illustrates an important limitation of fiduciary law: the trust standard evaluates procedural care but cannot assess deaccessions on their merits. Yet this ...