The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Friday, November 27, 2015

Renoir painting withdrawn from auction; stolen from Baltimore Museum of Art in 1951
An art shopper looks closely at a 5.5 inch by 6.6 inch (14 centimeter by 23 centimeter) painting by French Impressionist master Pierre-Auguste Renoir in Alexandria, Virginia. The painting was recently discovered for just a few dollars at a Virgina flea market sale. The canvas which shows a scene along the Seine River titled "Paysage Bords de Seine" was scheduled to be auctioned September 29, 2012 at the Potomack Company, in Alexandria, Virginia, selling for an expected 75,000 to 100,000 USD. It was for sale in a box with a plastic cow and a Paul Bunyan doll for 50.00 USD and still carries a label from the Berheim-Jeune arthouse in Paris, a famous purveyor of works by Renoir. AFP PHOTO/Paul J. Richards.
ALEXANDRIA, VA.- The Potomack Company announces the withdrawal of Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s painting Paysage Bords de Seine from a planned sale on September 29 at the Potomack Company auction house after a question was raised by The Baltimore Museum of Art on Wednesday, September 26, about the ownership of the painting.

On July 27, 2012, a consignor brought a painting into The Potomack Company that she had bought at a flea market, and Potomack’s fine art specialist, Anne Norton Craner, confirmed that it was a known Renoir painting titled Paysage Bords de Seine painted in the late 19th century.

The same day, July 27, 2012, Potomack Company promptly contacted Art Loss Register – a service that records and follows missing and stolen works of art - confirming that the painting had never been reported stolen or missing. Potomack also consulted the FBI’s art theft website to confirm that it was not listed as stolen by the FBI. Potomack researched the provenance of the painting, determining that it was a painting listed in Bernheim-Jeune’s Renoir catalogue raisonne and that the last record of the painting’s exhibition or sale was in Paris in 1926. The buyer was Herbert L. May, husband of Saidie May until their separation in 1924. Saidie May was an important donor of paintings and other objects to the Baltimore Museum of Art.

On September 6, Potomack issued a press release announcing the upcoming sale and explaining the mysterious provenance and discovery of the painting. The release was sent to major news organizations, to The Baltimore Museum of Art and to international Renoir specialists. Since the press release, there has been worldwide media coverage of the painting and the mystery of its whereabouts since 1926.

Washington Post reporter Ian Shapira undertook a probing investigation into the whereabouts of the painting since 1926. While doing research in the Museum’s library archives on Tuesday, September 25, Shapira discovered a list of paintings from Saidie A. May on loan to the Museum from 1937 that included the Renoir painting. After Shapira notified Museum officials of his finding, they did an internal investigation of their art collection files and found a loan record indicating that the Renoir painting was stolen in 1951.

On Wednesday, September 26, 2012, the Museum called and advised Potomack that they had a record indicating the painting was stolen while on loan to the Museum in 1951, although there is no known police report. Elizabeth Wainstein, owner of The Potomack Company, immediately notified the Federal Bureau of Investigation of this development that afternoon. A federal investigation is now in progress.

Decision to Withdraw the Painting:
At this time, many questions remain about the fate of the painting after it was loaned to the museum in 1937 and the ownership of the painting then and now. Given these questions, Potomack and the consignor have decided to withdraw the painting from the September 29 sale until any questions about its ownership are resolved.

“Potomack is relieved this came to light in a timely manner as we do not want to sell any item without clear title,” said Elizabeth Wainstein. “Our objective in conducting a sale is always to ensure fairness and finality both for the consignor and for the buying public. Postponing the sale of the Renoir painting is the best way of achieving that objective in this case.”

Today's News

September 28, 2012

Renoir painting withdrawn from auction; stolen from Baltimore Museum of Art in 1951

Phillips de Pury & Co announces highlights from London October Contemporary Art Auctions

Kunsthaus Zürich exhibiting over fifty prints by the French painter Paul Gauguin

Isleworth Mona Lisa conjures new art world mystery as foundation presents the painting today

Peter Zumthor awarded 2013 Royal Gold Medal for architecture by the Royal Institute of British Architects

Mark Grotjahn's first exhibition of painted bronze sculptures on view at Gagosian Gallery

Sotheby's to offer painting from Bacon's most acclaimed series, unseen in public for nearly 40 years

Vatican paper L'Osservatore Romano weighs on 'Jesus' Wife' Coptic papyrus fragment: fake

Whitechapel Gallery presents rarely seen works of art from the Collection Sandretto Re Rebaudengo

Major retrospective of Ken Whisson's work opens at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia

George Eastman House announces appointment of Dr. Bruce Barnes as director

Phillips de Pury & Co. collaborates with charity Peace One Day on blockbuster exhibition 'AKA Peace'

Film and video works from the Goetz Collection on view at Haus der Kunst in Munich

Magnificient Elizabeth Frink bronzes at Bonhams Sale of 20th Century British and Irish Art

Three abstract films by Florian Pumhösl on view at Lisson Gallery in Milan

Records set for Simon Hantai , Michel Parmentier, Bertrand Lavier, Bernard Frize & Daniel Dezeuze

Runa Islam presents two new films in exhibition at White Cube Hoxton Square

Masterpieces formerly in the Collection of Monsieur and Madame Riahi to be offered at Christie's

Smithsonian features US national anthem in Spanish

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- First solo exhibition by the American artist Mickalene Thomas in Belgium opens at Galerie Nathalie Obadia

2.- Israel accidentally finds ancient mosaic that served as pavement for a courtyard in a villa

3.- The address of Johannes Vermeer's the Little Street discovered by Rijksmuseum curator

4.- The nine lives of Russia's Hermitage cats that root out unwanted guests: Rodents

5.- Robbers make off with masterpieces by Rubens and Tintoretto from museum in Verona

6.- 17th century letters at Museum of Communication reveal refugees 'sense of loss'

7.- New museum dedicated to the artist Mu Xin opens in Zhejiang Province, China

8.- Who are the most prolific art collectors in the US today?

9.- Rubens House brings newly discovered study for a portrait by Van Dyck to Antwerp

10.- "The Nude in the XX and XXI century" curated by Jane Neal opens at Sotheby's S/2 London

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez
Social Network Manager and Translator: Norma Cristina Pérez Ayala Cano

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful