The Salina Public Library (SPL) recently learned there are concerns related to the sale of Sandzén art owned by the library and currently under contract for auction. SPL works to provide the best possible service to the public. As an entity that strives to serve our community, we are called to prioritize the best use of taxpayer funding for our services, resources, staff, and facilities. It is our responsibility to spend our limited funds in a way that benefits the greatest needs as expressed by the community we serve as a whole.  

The library is not equipped to maintain fine art. SPL already needed to restore one of the paintings in our possession. Realizing that the paintings would continue to deteriorate in our care, we considered the options and consulted with the Birger Sandzén Memorial Gallery regarding our questions. 

Our board discussed this issue over two board meetings (agendas linked below) and received no feedback from the public. The board voted unanimously to sell the paintings through a fine arts auction house that was recommended by the Sandzén Gallery. Despite what many have stated, this decision was made months ago and with full information on the decision being made available to the public. 

The meetings in which the matter was discussed can be found here:

May 16 Agenda    May 16 Board Minutes

June 20 Agenda   June 20 Board Minutes

SPL understands that this decision is not something everyone supports. However, many others support this decision. We are under contract with the auction house handling the sale of the Sandzéns and to break the contract would open the library to significant repercussions.  Withdrawing the artwork from the auction is simply not an option legally or otherwise.