Thursday, October 26, 2006

In the "oops" department

A friend of mine, after reading about Goodwill's good fortune in having been donated a painting worth rather a lot of money, told me about a recent incident in which a guy who had finalized a deal to sell a Picasso painting for $139 million stuck his elbow through the painting. It was just a little hole he punched, about coin-sized according to reports, but so much for that deal. At last word, he's having the painting repaired. (I should hope so.) I don't know what he hopes to do with it after that. According to the BBC article linked above, he bought it for $48.4 million in 1997, if you're wondering.

My friend also tells me that there are supposed Frank Weston Benson paintings popping up all over the place for sell right now. (Benson was the artist of the painting donated to Goodwill.) I wouldn't be the least little bit surprised.

The funny-sad thing is that, since there are so many Benson paintings out there but unaccounted for, not all of the offerings will be just from con artists. What a deal. The honest sellers will have to be doubly careful not to get caught up in the eddies left by shysters, I reckon. Welcome to the world of the art market, I guess.

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