IFAR Journal

Volume 10, No. 1


Are They Pollocks? What Science Tells Us About the Matter Paintings: Preface
— Sharon Flescher

Introduction to three articles and Q&A containing edited versions of talks from an IFAR Evening held on November 28, 2007. The focus was the disputed attribution of a recently discovered group of paintings belonging to the deceased photographer Herbert Matter, a friend of Jackson Pollock. The initial attribution to Pollock had been called into question, and three separate scientific teams analyzed the material properties to resolve the dispute. The results of two of these investigations are included in this Journal along with an art historical discussion and reproductions of all of the works.

Are They Pollocks? What Science Tells Us About the Matter Paintings: What's the Matter with Pollock? Issues of Connoisseurship and Abstraction
— Pepe Karmel

Karmel, Co-Curator of the Museum of Modern Art's 1998 Jackson Pollock retrospective, discusses the Matter Paintings in context of connoisseurship and the development of Pollock's style. He explores the influence of Picasso on both Herbert Matter and Pollock and of Matter on Pollock and then describes the attributes of the disputed works that do or do not look like Pollock.

Are They Pollocks? What Science Tells Us About the Matter Paintings: An Overview of the Scientific Analysis of the Matter Paintings
— Richard Newman

Newman, the Head of Scientific Research at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, discusses results of the analysis of the pigments and binders in nine of the Matter paintings examined by his research team and indicates which findings are consistent, or inconsistent, with a dating to Jackson Pollock's lifetime.

Are They Pollocks? What Science Tells Us About the Matter Paintings: What Materials Tell Us About the Age and Attribution of the Matter Paintings
— James Martin

Martin, the principal of Orion Analytical, LLC, which studied 23 of the Matter paintings, as well as the records of the warehouse where the works were found, and other data, discusses his findings and how they cast doubt on a Pollock attribution.

News and Updates: Settlement in Malevich Family Suit Against the Stedelijk
— Sharon Flescher

Analysis of the settlement ending Malewicz v. City of Amsterdam, a U.S. lawsuit brought by the artist's heirs against the City of Amsterdam for the ownership of 14 paintings lent by the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam to an exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum, New York and the Menil Collection in Houston. The 14 works were part of a larger group of Malevich works in the Stedelijk claimed by the family. The U.S. suit raised complicated legal and factual issues.

News and Updates: AAMD Revises Guidelines for Acquisition of Antiquities -- Again
— Sharon Flescher

A discussion of the new and more stringent antiquities guidelines published in June 2008 by the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD).

News and Updates: A Tale of Two Antiquities
— Jack A. Josephson

This news story compares and contrasts two "antiquities" recently sold in the marketplace: the Guennol Lioness, a rare and precious statuette from ancient Elam, and the "Amarna" Princess, a purported ancient Egyptian statue sold to the Bolton Museum in England, which turned out to be one of many fakes perpetrated by the Greenhalgh family over a period of years.

Stolen Art

Thefts include: Paul Cézanne, Boy in the Red Waistcoat and Edgar Degas, Ludovic Lepic and his Daughter, two paintings stolen from the E.G. Bührle Collection in Zurich; Pablo Picasso, Tête de Cheval and Verre et Pichet, two paintings stolen from a cultural center in Pfäffikon, Switzerland while on loan from the Sprengel Museum in Frankfurt; Egyptian antiquities stolen from the Bijbels Museum in Amsterdam.

Recovered Art

Recovered paintings include: Claude Monet, Poppy Field at Vétheuil and Vincent Van Gogh, Blooming Chestnut Branches, both stolen from the E.G Bührle Collection in Zurich; Pablo Picasso, Portrait of Suzanne Bloch, stolen from the Sao Paulo Museum of Art, and L’Écritoire, stolen from a gallery in Monaco; August Strindberg, Night of Jealousy, stolen from the Strindberg Museum in Stockholm; Mahonri M. Young, Fort Washington Point, Long Island, NY, discovered missing from Brigham Young University Museum in Provo, UT in 1970; and three paintings stolen from a private residence in Shrewsbury, MA in 1976: Gustave Courbet, Shore of Lake Geneva, William Hamilton, Lady as Shepherdess, and Childe Hassam, In the Sun.

Missing Art

Missing items include: Eve Hesse, Painting, 1965; Guy Carleton Wiggins, Street Scene, 5th Avenue; Henri Matisse, Portrait of Mrs. Skira, a charcoal drawing.