A British effort to put pictures of all the oil paintings in the UK online pays off – an art historian spotted a previously unknown Van Dyck portrait.
The painting, which was not thought to be important and in a bad condition, was covered in layers of dirt and varnish and was not on display at the Bowes Museum.
But it was photographed as part of the Public Catalogue Foundation’s mission to document every oil painting in public ownership and added to the BBC’s Your Paintings website, where it was spotted by art historian and dealer Dr Bendor Grosvenor.
“Although as part of our national heritage values are irrelevant, for insurance purposes it should now be valued at anything up to £1m,” Dr Grosvenor said.
“Had it appeared at auction as a copy, and in its dirty state, it would probably only have been estimated at about £3,000-5,000.”
Grosvenor runs Art History News – here’s an example of what he’s doing with this picture.
The general initiative is called Your Paintings.
The Met owns Jacques Louis David’s Death of Socrates. One of their curators managed to buy a David preparatory drawing for $700 at auction because it was misattributed!
Catalogued and illustrated . . . as “French school, early 19th century”, the 24.5cm by 38.2cm sheet (est $500-$700) depicting The Death of Socrates in brush, black ink and grey wash was described as “lightly squared for transfer in pencil. After the painting by Jacques-Louis David in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.” [my emphasis]
Instead of “after the painting” it was “for the painting.” Good call!
Professor Cowen was asking about the deadweight loss of stuff in storage in museums. Look at one way the Met tries to get around that. Suboptimal viewing experience – but they’re still up. This is the The Henry R. Luce Center for the Study of American Art, which they claim is everything that’s not up in the main galleries.
A Matisse stolen from a Swedish museum was recently recovered in the UK. I can’t decide if the standard line is meaningless optimism or just a negotiating tactic:
At the time of the theft, a spokesman for the museum said the painting was too “well-known” to “sell on the open market”.
Mr Marinello agreed with the sentiment, adding: “I commend the museum for not giving in to ransom demands a quarter century ago.
“Stolen artwork has no real value in the legitimate marketplace and will eventually resurface… it’s just a matter of waiting it out.”
Well, they had to wait 25 years. Is that optimism?
This is encouraging. The Dallas Museum of Art is returning looted art to Turkey even before the Turkish government asked for it (click and see – there’s an ok photograph of the mosaic in question). Compare that to the Met, which is still stonewalling. In exchange, Dallas hopes to get some good loan materials. I hadn’t noticed that Max Anderson is now the director at Dallas – his first director position was at Emory’s Carlos Museum.
The Tate has a show up about (can’t be OF) lost, stolen, erased, or discarded art – from impressionist paintings stolen by the Gestapo to portraits torn off the wall of a gallery in 1988. Here’s the link – go look!
I saw this bike rack as a design competition winner back in 2010 at the Cooper-Hewitt — here it is now in the wild on 8th Avenue!
That’s the headline. The story is better! She was going to paint over them!
“I thought they would be awesome canvases. They were $9.99 a piece and I just thought they would be great to just draw on them and paint over them because I didn’t like them as paintings. They were really ‘70s kind of looking, but not ‘70s in that fun, kitschy way, ‘70s in a different way that I don’t really enjoy, so I was like, ‘I’m going to paint big cat heads or whatever,’” Feeback,who specializes in pet portraits, said. “I was going to paint on them and so I bought them.”
She showed them to a friend at the art fair, and her friend spotted labels on the backs of the canvases that read: “Weatherspoon Art Gallery. University of North Carolina – Greensboro.” Her friend told her to find out more about the paintings before she painted them over.
Feeback took the canvases home and they languished in her art studio until mid-June. She nearly painted over them a few times.
“But I decided, you know, I’ll check, I’ll Google these guys. The first one I Google was Bolotowsky. And I Google it and the first thing I saw was the Wikipedia page and I was like, ‘Holy crap. I better get those up off the floor over there,’” she recalled. “And then it just went crazy. When I saw what it was I thought, ‘This painting has got to be worth something, but what do I do now? I don’t know anything about selling a valuable painting.’ We made $200 at the art show that day.”
You know, someone de-accessioned those!
But your honor, I had a delusion that I was an art thief. Yes, in fact, I took the paintings, but, but . . . .
And the judge bought it.
Michael Gerard Sullivan, 54, has pleaded guilty to stealing two paintings from the Katoomba Fine Art Gallery in December 2008.
At the time the gallery was also a restaurant and CCTV vision clearly shows Mr Sullivan stealing two James Willebrant paintings between courses.
During his court case Mr Sullivan’s lawyers tendered two psychiatric reports which concluded he had dissociative amnesia and his actions were totally out of character.
I’m looking forward to seeing “Portrait of Wally,” the saga of one Egon Schiele painting. Some major museums (including the MoMA in NYC) don’t sound as though they behaved very well.
. . . who is the Napoleon of Crime pulling the threads of the spider web and directing the theft of Chinese objects from two separate university museums in England? The AP story hints only:
It wasn’t immediately clear whether the thefts were related.
I remind you, faithful reader, it was to me! Immediately!
Talk about an eager seller!
In a rare move, Sotheby’s sent the work to private homes in Asia, North America and Europe so key clients could test whether the haunting image clashed with the rest of their art collections. The piece has been removed from its frame for certain serious contenders who wanted to stare at the icon nose-to-nose. The picture recently flew to Hong Kong for 48 hours so a top collector could inspect it in person in a private room at Sotheby’s offices.
Potential buyers include European executives, Asian big-spenders and Middle Eastern sheiks. Among the names most often mentioned: the royal family in Qatar, which is building a museum empire and reportedly purchased Paul Cézanne’s “The Card Players” for at least $250 million not long ago. Simon Shaw, head of Sotheby’s Impressionist and modern art department in New York, noted fascination with the work in Japan, where “The Scream” is a particularly resonant image, possibly because Munch was influenced by Japanese prints.
Sotheby’s expert Philip Hook estimates a pool of about 10 collectors. His personal theory: Collectors don’t tend to spend more than 1% of their net worth on an individual artwork. That leaves “Scream” bidders at people worth $8 billion and up.