Even as it has been buying works of art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art has been selling paintings from its permanent collection as it wraps up a series of moves museum director Michael Govan describes as a clarifying process.

The New York Times on Thursday reported that a number of LACMA's master paintings are set to be auctioned off by Sotheby's Jan. 28. Govan said the paintings have been in storage and no longer adhere to a new incentive at the museum revolving around next month's unveiling of renovated galleries for Dutch, Flemish, Spanish and French works.

“It may seem shocking that I am selling paintings, but I'm willing to accept the criticism,” Govan chief curator J. Patrice Marandel told the Times. “This isn't a study collection, it's a place to see the best paintings we can show so that visitors will be able to experience paintings as objects of enjoyment and culture.”