Published: May 22, 2001
Trade News from around the World
A Stateline woman faces federal charges for allegedly hiding a suspect wanted in an eBay art scam. The complaint filed by federal prosecutors in Sacramento charges Terri Ann Galipeaux, 45, of concealing Kenneth A. Fetterman. Fetterman, 33, of Placerville, Calif., and two others were indicted in March on fraud and money laundering charges. Authorities allege the trio posted fake art masterpieces on the Internet auction site, then fraudulently bid on them to run up the price. In one instance last May, one person was induced to bid over $135,000 for a phony Richard Diebenkorn painting, prosecutors told the Associated Press.
The purported first drawings of Mickey Mouse – estimated to be worth more than $3 million – failed to sell at Guernsey’s, New York City, on May 19, leaving the consignor, the International Museum of Cartoon Art, scrambling for other ways to pay its debts. The six-page, 36-panel storyboard was drawn for the Walt Disney cartoon Plane Crazy in 1928, museum founder Mort Walker told AP’s Chaka Ferguson. In the 9-inch-by-12-inch sheets, the rodent reads the book “How to Fly,” builds a plane, flies it and crashes. The museum offered the Mickey drawings and hundreds of other rdf_Descriptions for sale to defray nearly $2 million in debt, most owed to a bank that holds the museum’s mortgage. Bidding for the storyboard started at $400,000 during an auction at the New-York Historical Society. The price reached $800,000, but the sale was put on hold because the credibility of the online bidder could not be established, said Arlan Ettinger, president of the auction house.
New York gallery owner Adam Williams, of Newhouse Galleries, who bought a Dutch painting at a 1989 auction testified May 16 in a Nanterre, France courtroom that he didn’t know it had been seized by the Nazis from a Jewish family during World War II. Williams, accused of receiving stolen goods, told a three-judge court he was unaware that the painting by Dutch master Frans Hals was stolen from the Schloss family, which had a major art collection. If found guilty, Williams could face up to five years in prison and a $416,700 fine. The dealer bought the painting, “Portrait of the Pastor Adrianus Tegularius,” at Christie’s in 1989 for $171,600. At that time, “I had never heard of people buying art in auctions that turned out to be stolen,” Williams said. “The problem was in the ’70s and ’80s, there were no claims to recover stolen art. There was nothing to warn me.” Julian Radcliffe, chairman of The Art Loss Register, a London-based company that helps find and retrieve stolen art, told Jamey Keaten of the Associated Press that cataloguing of the collection did not occur until 1998.
Actress Jane Fonda was touring sites in Alabama to learn more about the works of self-taught artists for a book on vernacular art she is helping to publish, meeting last week with several artists around the state to learn more about the genre, which will be the subject of the second volume of a book devoted to Southern artists called Souls Grown Deep. Fonda, an Atlanta resident whose trip to Birmingham was unpublicized, told AP she became interested in the genre after purchasing a work by Bessemer artist Thornton Dial. Besides Fonda, the group included Peter Marzio, director of Houston’s Museum of Fine Arts, and Larry Rinder, curator of contemporary art at New York City’s Whitney Museum of American Art.
Bruce C. Perkins, president of Flather & Perkins, Inc., a Washington, D.C., insurance brokerage firm specializing in fine-arts insurance, has been named chairman of the Winterthur Board of Trustees, Delaware. Perkins succeeds W.L. Lyons Brown, Jr, of Louisville, Ky., who held the post for four years.
Sotheby’s has introduced an immediate purchase option on Sotheby.com. With “Buy Now,” clients will now be able to buy select rdf_Descriptions right away for a predetermined price, without waiting for the auction to end. “We expect the Buy Now feature will welcome more new clients from around the world to our online business,” stated David Redden, chairman of Sothebys.com. When a site Associate lists a lot with a Buy Now price, the lot will be clearly marked with a blue Buy Now button next to the Bid button. These lots will have the price alongside the auction estimate, and will appear when searching for lots within a category, special sale or through the advanced search function.
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm