IFAR Journal

Volume 13, No. 1/2


The Rembrandt Research Project: Reflections, Revelations, Reversals
— Ernst van de Wetering
An article by the Chairman of the Rembrandt Research project (RRP), based on his IFAR Evening talk of March 10, 2011, in which he highlights some of RRP’s de-attributions and re-attributions. The latter includes a small portrait of Rembrandt in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.


What Frames Can Tell Us -- An IFAR Evening
— Eli Wilner; Laurence B. Kanter; George Bisacca; Elizabeth Easton
The heavily illustrated edited proceedings of a May 2011 IFAR program highlighting how frames can tell us about the attribution, provenance and history of a work of art. The three speakers were introduced by Elizabeth Easton, the former curator and chair of the Brooklyn Museum’s Department of European Painting and Sculpture, who joined in the q&a.



What Frames Can Tell Us: Original, Period, or Copy: Frame Forensics
— Eli Wilner
The author, CEO and founder of a period frame gallery and restoration company, explains how to distinguish an original frame from a copy and describes the telltale signs of frame alteration


What Frames Can Tell Us: The Evidence of Frames
— Laurence B. Kanter
Using examples from the early Italian Renaissance to the twentieth century, Laurence Kanter, Chief Curator at the Yale University Art Gallery, discusses how an examination of frames can expand our knowledge of works of art and of art history.



What Frames Can Tell Us: The Marriage of Painting and Frame
— George Bisacca
An article by a conservator in the Paintings Conservation Department at the Metropolitan Museum of Art illustrating how, due to a variety of aesthetic and historical reasons, the frames on some of the world’s most beautiful paintings have been altered significantly. Many of the alterations were due to a profound shift that took place in fifteenth-century Italy and spread throughout Europe.


Letter to the Editor: Re: "Resale Royalties and the Visual Arts: Should the Droit de Suite Come to the U.S.”
— John Henry Merryman
The letter writer, a professor of law emeritus at Stanford Law School, makes a case against the droit de suite on the grounds that the resale proceeds rights would benefit only successful artists who have a significant resale market.


News and Updates: The Persistence of Amiel – Third Generation Dalí Forger Now Doing Time
— Mary Morabito Rosewater
An update on the saga of the Amiel family of art forgers whose partriarch, Leon Amiel, Sr., flooded the international print market with fakes in the ‘70s and’80s. In 2008, his grandson, Leon Amiel, Jr., was charged with multiple counts of mail and wire fraud over a scam involving the sale of forged prints on eBay.


News and Updates: Appellate Court Upholds Bella Principessa Decision

An update on the legal case of a Swiss collector who sued Christie’s after alleging that the auction house assigned a 19th-century German attribution to a Renaissance drawing she had consigned to it, a drawing some scholars have attributed to Leonardo da Vince. In July 2011, the appellate court affirmed the dismissal of the lawsuit on the grounds that the suit was untimely.


News and Updates: Obama Poster Artist Fairey Pleads Guilty to Criminal Contempt

A discussion of the legal case against Shepard Fairey, who alleged a “fair use” defense during a civil copyright dispute with the Associated Press. In February 2012, federal authorities charged the artist with criminal contempt after he admitted to creating false evidence, producing false testimony, and misleading his own lawyer during the course of the civil case.


News and Updates: Breaking News

Mention of the recent recoveries of paintings by Cézanne and Degas, two of the four works stolen from the E. G. Bührle Collection in Zurich in 2008.


News and Updates: In Eve-n Another Ruling, California Court Adam-ant that Cranach Claim Cannot Proceed
— Sharon Flescher and Mary Morabito Rosewater

An update on a story covered in IFAR Journal since 2008. In April 2012, the Goudstikker heir filed a Notice of Appeal after a California federal district court dismissed her suit against the Norton Simon Museum on the grounds that her state law claims were preempted by the foreign affairs doctrine.

News and Updates: Supreme Court Nixes Review of Grosz Heirs’ Claim Against MoMA
— Mary Morabito Rosewater

An update on the status of a legal case brought against MoMA by the heirs of the artist George Grosz. They had been seeking the return of three Grosz artworks that they claimed had been stolen from him during WWII. The case, which was dismissed on statute of limitations grounds, hinged on the Manhattan federal court’s interpretation of New York’s “demand and refusal” rule.


News and Updates: Recovery in 24-Year-Old Motherwell Theft – It’s Authentic, But It’s Not Yours
— Sharon Flescher

A report on the recent recovery of four of the six works by modern masters, including a Robert Motherwell painting, stolen from the Solomon Gallery in New York City in 1988. A fifth work, by Karel Appel, was recovered in 2003. A sixth work, by Franz Kline, remains missing.


Stolen Art

Stolen items include Piet Mondrian’s Mill and Pablo Picasso’s Woman’s Head, stolen from the National Gallery in Athens, Greece; Francisco de Goya’s Shipwreck of Fortune and Théodore Géricault’s Battle Scene, stolen in Rome; various 19th-century paintings stolen in Vienna, Austria.


Recovered Art

Recovered items include Picasso’s Tête de Cheval and Verre et Pichet; René Magritte’s Olympia; Frans Hals’ Laughing Boy with a Pitcher of Beer and Van Ruysdael’s Forest Landscape with Blooming Flowers/Elderberry, stolen from a museum in The Netherlands; Robert Motherwell’s Figuration and Fernand Léger’s The Blue Bottle, stolen from a New York gallery.

Missing Art

Missing items include two Rembrandt works on paper stolen in Amsterdam, Christ Driving the Money Changers from the Temple and Christ Preaching; three decorative silver pieces by Charles Robert Ashbee stolen from a museum exhibit in Gloucestershire, U.K.