Suzanne Muchnic's excellent comprehensive article on deaccessioning art in today's museums ("Scandal or Salvation?," March 5) addressed a current hot issue, and also one that founders of our own Los Angeles County Museum of Art dealt with when they gave their collections officially to "the Board of Supervisors on behalf of the People of Los Angeles County."
Mr. and Mrs. William Preston Harrison gave an initial gift of American art in 1918, another of French art in 1926, American watercolors in 1931 and modern French watercolors in 1935. It was at the time of the last gift that the Harrisons, "wise to the changing trends of contemporary art," according to an Art Digest article of the day, "made provision that the collections remain elastic."
The Harrisons were supporters of living artists of their day, and realized some works would not stand the test of time. Los Angeles is fortunate to have had art patrons for the past who looked ahead to deaccessioning their gifts in order to reinvigorate the collection in the future.