Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Gary, IN missing a Cezanne, Monet, Rembrandt??

Attention kids - if you have relatives in Northern Indiana who for some reason seem to have a fake impressionist or Dutch Master painting above the couch, don't put it in a garage sale for 5 bucks. It appears some very important art works over the past 60 years have somehow become missing property that once were under the care of Gary Public Schools. From the Associated Press:

Painting in state museum part of Gary’s missing art works

GARY, Ind. — A painting discovered at an Indianapolis museum is among scores of art works once owned by the city and its schools that have disappeared, including some by Monet and Rembrandt, officials say.
A resident who has worked for years trying to find out what happened to the lost art said he hopes the recovery of “Landing the Fish Boat” by Frank V. Dudley helps solve the mystery.
The painting was donated to the city in 1957 shortly after Dudley’s death, according to a newspaper photograph published that year. But the city no longer has the painting.
The Indiana State Museum exhibited a painting by Dudley at a Valparaiso University gallery last year that appears to be the same work, prompting questions about how it was transferred through the years.
“It’s definitely the same painting,” Indiana State Museum Fine Arts Curator Rachel Perry said Monday.
Gary resident Jim Nowacki said a 1948 inventory of art owned by the Gary schools lists works by painters such as Cezanne, Monet and Rembrandt. None of them are owned by the schools today.
Nowacki, who has spent many hours trying to recover the lost art, said he hopes “Landing the Fish Boat” will become his first success and increase interest in pursuing other paintings that could be displayed in the city and used as a teaching aid in city art classes.
Perry could not say how the Dudley left the school’s possession. Appraisal paperwork maintained by the museum shows that, sometime after it was donated to the city, the Dudley painting came to be owned by a Hammond man. He gave it to his son in Gary around 1975.
“I’ve always wanted the painting to be in a museum so that more people can appreciate the early days of Gary and the dunes,” a letter from the donor to the museum states.
It would not have been uncommon for public school officials to store paintings at home during summer break or to take the art in their offices upon retirement, Perry noted.
“The paintings would just kind of walk off,” she said.
———
Information from: The Times, http://nwitimes.com
AP-CS-02-20-07 1326EST

My favorite line: It would not have been uncommon for public school officials to store paintings at home during summer break or to take the art in their offices upon retirement. Can you imagine that? Everyone has gone to Panama City for the week, certainly no one will notice if I take this Cezanne. And for 60 years no one did!

6 Responses to “Gary, IN missing a Cezanne, Monet, Rembrandt??”

Liriodendron said...
February 22, 2007 at 7:26 AM

Eeeek! This is actually (sadly)kind of exciting if you're an antique/garage sale hag such as myself. You NEVER know what you might find at a gargage sale.....


Richard said...
February 22, 2007 at 9:59 PM

Hmm ... while it's not surprising to find the Dudley up there, it would be absolutely shocking to find a painting by Money or Rembrandt.

Probably more likely that they were prints, or reproductions by those and perhaps other artists.


Anonymous said...
February 22, 2007 at 11:55 PM

I think I just saw one of those at my cousin's house. Diane's a substitute up in Hammond.


jimbraski said...
February 23, 2007 at 12:28 PM

This shows why it is such a disaster for public schools to own these treasure troves: piss-poor management!


Anonymous said...
February 25, 2007 at 11:37 AM

i doubt anyone noticed the paintings when they were there, which is why they didn't notice they were missing.


Anonymous said...
May 19, 2008 at 5:38 PM

is a girl walking through a doorway with a rembrandt signature, one of the missing?!


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