1st 2 Berkshire Museum pieces sold at auction

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BOSTON (AP) — The first two works of art put up for auction by the Massachusetts museum that came under intense fire for its decision to sell dozens of pieces have sold for more than $1.4 million combined.

The Berkshire Museum’s “Three Seated Women” by Henry Moore was sold for $300,000 while Francis Picabia’s “Force Comique” sold for $1.2 million Monday at Sotheby’s in New York.

Those prices include a premium that goes to Sotheby’s. The museum gets about $1.16 million.

The Pittsfield museum said it needed to sell 40 works to stay financially viable and refocus its mission. After a legal battle, the state’s highest court last month cleared the way for the sales. Under the deal, Norman Rockwell’s “Shuffleton’s Barbershop” will be sold to the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art in Los Angeles.

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