Museum Curator Says Throw Family History and Heirlooms Out? An Insurance Liability?

Inherited Garage Sale Vase or Inherited From The Homeland?

Trash or Treasure?

Ellen Lupton, the curator of contemporary design at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum and the director of the master’s program in graphic design at the Maryland Institute College of Art recently posted a well written and humorous article in the opinion section of the NY Times about the angst of having inherited stuff from the past. It appears that her need to eliminate clutter trumps her archival gene… something I didn’t expect from a curator.

Here’s the article:

So, if something is damaged and it costs less to repair than to replace, is this curator’s advice an insurance liability? If its an heirloom, does the agent help ease the pain by guiding the insured to get good advice?… or just toss old stuff out?

Appraisal questions:

For an entertaining 7 min. video story of an appraisal adventure go to

About Scott Haskins

Scott M. Haskins has been a professional art conservator since 1975. He is also author of "How To Save Your Stuff From A Disaster". He may be contacted at 805 564 3438
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