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Links for Your Mink: More Thai Travails, Artful Forgers, Dubious Fisk Solution, Possible Theft-to-Order, Preemptive Loot Suits, Claims on Exhibition Proceeds

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I’ve been focusing on a couple of major stories, but there are lots of others that deserve mention. Let’s do a rapid rundown:
—The Felch-Feds story in the LA Times keeps getting worse (or better, from a journalistic standpoint). Today Jason Felch and Mike Boehm write about a big collector of Asian art caught in the investigators’ net—Barry MacLean, a trustee of the Art Institute of Chicago. A show of his collection has been traveling to small museums, but an AIC spokewoman told Felch that “MacLean had not donated, sold or lent any of the objects in his collection” to the Institute.
—Don’t miss The Antiques Rogue Show in yesterday’s Manchester Guardian, detailing the hows and whys of the amazing Greenhalgh forgery story.
But wait, there’s more: The BBC reports that the Bolton Council is seeking permission to exhibit, as a fake, Shaun Greenhalgh‘s masterpiece, the “Amarna Princess,” which the Bolton Museum had purchased as the real thing. Why not? It could be edifying. Maybe the Art Institute of Chicago could lend its “Gauguin.”
—Nashville’s planned Museum of African American Music, Art and Culture has proposed a partnership with Fisk University that could keep the Stieglitz Collection in the city, under Fisk’s ownership. Given that the museum hasn’t even been built yet, and its ability to provide big bucks to Fisk is questionable, this sounds like a longshot…not to mention the fact that the Stieglitz Collection does not consist of African-American art. Alice Walton still waits in the wings with her $30-million offer, accepted by Fisk, for a half-share in the collection. The matter returns to court next month.
—People often speculate that museum thefts are ordered by covetous collectors. Giving credence to such theories, a suspect in the theft of two paintings, including a Picasso, from a woefully low-security Brazilian museum is now claiming that the the works were to have been delivered to a Saudi collector.
—“You can’t sue me; I’m going to sue first” is evidently becoming a new museum strategy to counter Nazi-loot claims. First the Museum of Modern Art and the Guggenheim initiated a joint action; now the Boston Museum of Fine Arts is seeking court validation of its ownership of a claimed Kokoschka.
—Claimants of art in a major loan exhibition from Russian museums now at London’s Royal Academy have hit on a novel restitution strategy: Don’t give me the objects; just give me proceeds earned from exhibiting them.

an ArtsJournal blog