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Berkshire Museum sells Norman Rockwell painting to George Lucas’s museum

The Berkshire Museum has sold Norman Rockwell’s “Shuffleton’s Barbershop.”
The Berkshire Museum has sold Norman Rockwell’s “Shuffleton’s Barbershop.”NORMAN ROCKWELL MUSEUM DIGITAL COLLECTION

PITTSFIELD — The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art in Los Angeles says it has bought Norman Rockwell’s ‘‘Shuffleton’s Barbershop’’ from the cash-strapped Berkshire Museum.

The museum founded by ‘‘Star Wars’’ creator George Lucas said Wednesday that it has acquired the piece from the Pittsfield museum.

‘‘Shuffleton’s Barbershop’’ is among as many as 40 pieces being sold by the Berkshire Museum, which said it would be forced to close without an influx of funds.

The Lucas Museum says it will loan ‘‘Shuffleton’s Barbershop’’ to the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, where it will be on display into 2020.

The Lucas Museum broke ground last month on its billion-dollar museum dedicated to the art of visual storytelling. The museum is expected to open to the public in 2022.

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The Berkshire Museum, which won a legal battle over its plan to sell dozens of works of art, has announced that 13 of those pieces are being auctioned next month.

The Berkshire Museum last week received permission from the state’s highest court to sell 39 pieces, including one by Rockwell. That Rockwell piece, “Blacksmith’s Boy — Heel and Toe (Shaftsbury Blacksmith Shop),” is among those being auctioned by Sotheby’s in May.

The struggling museum announced the sale last year to raise $55 million so it could stay open and refocus its mission. The museum says it hopes to meet its financial goal without selling all the pieces.