-C. Paula de los Angeles
In addition to being the bicentennial anniversary of Darwin's birth, it is the bicentennial anniversary of the death of Birmingham entrepreneur Matthew Boulton, close friend of Erasmus Darwin, the grandfather of Charles Darwin. In order to commemorate this death, a painting of Erasmus Darwin will be auctioned at Sotheby's.
However, the portrait is expected to sell for more than 150,000 pounds, leaving the Erasmus Darwin House, museum and educational facility of the man and the legend, located in Lichfield hopeless with respect to getting this portrait painted by pre-eminent 18th century painter Joseph Wright, (although a copy of this portrait already exists in the house).
Curator of the museum, Alison Wallis, bemoans, "Chances are it will end up leaving the country, which will be very sad for the museum”.
Would be sad for visitors to the museum as well. Just as a thought question, who has the right to these sentimental and important portraits? Museums for education of the general public? Family members? Or someone who has the money to pay for it? This last category is probably who will end up with the painting, but probably the least desirable for society...