Museum Closings Can Be Your Opportunities to Acquire Valuable Items at Low Prices

Just last year I curated an art show in a museum near Atlantic City, New Jersey. It was a beautiful, modern museum that had been in operation for about a decade. But the show that I put together was the last one that would ever be held at that museum, which was closing its doors for good. Why? Because it had become too expensive to keep the place open.

Why do museums close their doors? There are many reasons. Museums are expensive to heat, cool, and staff. Over time, attendance at museums can drop to the point where it is not worth keeping them open. And it can become difficult, if not impossible, to get grants from foundations and local governments. It is sad, but sometimes museums die.

Here are only a few that have shut down in the last decade . . .

  • The Arkansas River Historical Museum, Catoosa, Oklahoma

  • The Dream Car Museum, Evansville, Indiana

  • The James Dean Gallery, Gas City, Indiana

  • The Liberace Museum, Las Vegas, Nevada

  • The Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Museum, Branson, Missouri

  • The Women’s Museum, Dallas, Texas

How to Acquire Museum Holdings at Advantageous Prices

When museums close, they often have to liquidate their holdings for the most money they can get.

Those holdings usually fall into two categories.

  • First, there are display cabinets, lighting fixtures and other items to sell. The process of selling them off is a lot like the process that businesses go through when selling their equipment. The sale or auction can be advertised in local newspapers or online.

  • Second, the museum’s collection of art or other items. If it was an automotive museum, for example, its cars might be sold through a collectible car auction company. If the museum had a collection of fine art, it might sell its paintings and other artworks directly to collectors; or it might sell them at a fine art auction.

Bear in mind that in some cases, a museum’s collection will not be sold to the public, even if the museum is closing. If a museum is operated by a foundation or a university, for example, those entities might still own the collections that were on display and might have no interest in liquidating them.

Are There Opportunities to Buy Precious Metals too?

Yes, there are. Or at least, there can be. It depends on the kind of museum it was.

Be on the lookout for museums that displayed items that are likely to contain precious metals.

In the list of museums we named above, for example, we would be looking for precious metal items in the Arkansas River Historical Museum, the Dream Car Museum, the James Dean Gallery, the Liberace Museum, and the Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Museum. If they, or similar institutions, were closing their doors soon, we would be sure to investigate.

And What If You Collect Valuables from a Museum that Is Closing?

Give our precious metals experts a call at 800-426-2344 and ask us to test your discoveries for you. Items that were once in the public eye could put money in your pocket.

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