The Art Institute of Chicago is putting 11 works on the auction block, including paintings by Monet, Picasso, Modigliani, Utrillo and Degas, to raise the $12-million purchase price of a bronze sculpture, "Golden Bird," by Constantin Brancusi.
The Art Institute, which in the past has resisted selling works to purchase others, is making an exception in this case, the Chicago Sun-Times reported today.
"To let the Brancusi leave is unthinkable," Director James N. Wood said. "The work is seminal to Chicago's reputation as a center for modern art."
The Brancusi is owned by the Art Club of Chicago, which is selling it to buy a new gallery for its other works. Wood said the Art Institute already has possession of the sculpture and is committed to paying $8 million by the end of June and $4 million more over the next 10 years.