Monday, March 05, 2007

Dubious Provenance

I wrote recently about how difficult it can be for buyers and owners of original comic book artwork to know whether a particular page of artwork was ever in its history unscrupulously acquired. It seems that even owners of original fine artwork are susceptible to the same uncertainty.

A stolen Norman Rockwell painting was found in the collection of Steven Spielberg recently. Click here for the full story and for a view of the painting, which is entitled "Russian Schoolroom." (You should note that one of the sidebar articles at that link points out that Spielberg may be allowed to retain ownership of the artwork since he bought it from a legitimate dealer.)

Rest assured, I can state with ONE HUNDRED PERCENT CONFIDENCE that there are not now and there never have been any stolen Rockwell originals in the Hayfamzone Collection!


At 4:10 PM, Blogger Harry Mendryk said...


Interesting article. But I think the sidebar comment of buying the painting from a legitamate art dealer is simply not true. I know of a number of cases of stolen fine art that buying from a dealer did not make it a clean slate. What is important is being able to prove the art was stolen.

In this case the original owner was paid for the loss, so her title is probably no longer valid. What is not clear is whether insurance of the gallery was involved. If so they might get title.



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