Author Archives: Hélène Deslauriers

Auction goes ahead for LaSalle collection

Posted on: May 2, 2018 by Hélène Deslauriers

On the 18th and 19thof April, Christie’s New York held an auction of top works from the LaSalle University art collection. LaSalle University, a Catholic university with its own museum, situated in an underprivileged area of Philadelphia, rather abruptly announced in January 2018 that it intended to deaccession a number of works to further its mission to […]

The portrait of Greta Moll, the National Gallery and ‘quintessentially’ British statements

Posted on: January 16, 2018 by Hélène Deslauriers

Oskar and Greta Moll were two German students of Henri Matisse. In 1908, they purchased a portrait of Greta painted by the Master himself (the Portrait). Later, having survived the Second World War but concerned of the impeding partition of Germany, they decided to move to Wales in 1946. In preparation for the move, Greta […]

Gurlitt art collection at last goes on display in Germany and Switzerland

Posted on: November 20, 2017 by Hélène Deslauriers

The world was astonished in 2013, when the German government disclosed the discovery of an unprecedented trove of art works in Munich.  The presumptive owner, Cornelius Gurlitt, who was nearly 80 when he died, had never worked, never had a bank account, nor social security or insurance.  He was a recluse with no known friends or […]

Last-minute development in Berkshire deaccession dispute

Posted on: November 13, 2017 by Hélène Deslauriers

The Sotheby’s sale of the Berkshire Museum’s artworks, scheduled for the 13th of November, has now been put on hold following the Massachusetts Appeal Court’s decision reversing the previous judgment by the Superior Court, which had cleared the way for the sale. On Friday the 10th of November, the Court of Appeals granted the Attorney […]

Berkshire decision: Rockwell sales to proceed

Posted on: November 9, 2017 by Hélène Deslauriers

Judge John J. Agostini of the Pittsfield Superior Court gave his decision on Tuesday in the widely publicised deaccession case brought by the sons of Rockwell and others against the Berkshire Museum. As a brief reminder, the Berkshire Museum’s financial situation had been bleak for many years and wealthy donors had all but disappeared.  The […]

Hearing in the Berkshire Museum deaccession case

Posted on: November 3, 2017 by Hélène Deslauriers

On 1st November, Judge John Agostini, presiding over the Pittsfield Court remarked that people “don’t often see a large crowd here,” but a large crowd had indeed gathered that day. As previously discussed, the case before him involved two separate hearings for preliminary restraining orders against the Berkshire Museum and its Trustees to stop the sale of a […]

Legal action brought by Rockwell heirs against Berkshire Museum

Posted on: October 25, 2017 by Hélène Deslauriers

Following our recent post on the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, legal action has now been taken by Norman Rockwell’s heirs against the Museum in relation to the upcoming auction sale of works from the collection. On 20th October, Norman Rockwell’s sons, Thomas, Jarvis and Peter Rockwell, along with other museum members and donors, filed a […]

Deaccessioning at the Berkshire Museum

Posted on: October 11, 2017 by Hélène Deslauriers

A storm has been brewing since the summer in the quiet town of Pittsfield, Massachusetts.  The town’s Berkshire Museum announced in July that it intended to put up 40 works of art for sale at Sotheby’s over a period ranging from November 2017 to March 2018. The Museum justified its decision by its dire financial […]

New IFAR Provenance Guide

Posted on: July 28, 2017 by Hélène Deslauriers

The International Foundation for Art Research (IFAR) has recently published a Provenance Guide. As set out in the Introduction to the Guide, provenance had historically concerned the attribution and authenticity of a work. The recent wave of claims by Nazi Holocaust survivors, or their heirs, as well as the threat of illegal exports from foreign source […]

Jeff Koons infringes French photographer’s copyright

Posted on: May 4, 2017 by Hélène Deslauriers

In March, Jeff Koons and the Pompidou Centre in Paris were held jointly liable for copyright infringement.  The work at issue was a porcelain sculpture of about 40 inches representing two naked children.  The sculpture was part of Koons’s ‘Banality’ series and was scheduled to be part of a Koons retrospective at the Pompidou Centre […]