Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Global Impact: Baltimore Museum of Art Has a Windfall: Renoir Painting Stolen in 1951 Found

According to The Latin American Tribune, the Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) will soon regain possession of a painting by notable French impressionist Pierre Auguste Renoir that was stolen in 1951 and taken to an auction house in 2012 by Marcia Fuqua, who claimed she bought it for $7.00 at a flea market.

“The painting is in good condition,” BMA director of communications Annie Mannix Brown said.

Federal District Judge Leonie Brinkema ruled on Friday (January 13) that “On the Shore of the Seine,” which was painted in 1879, belongs to the BMA.

“The Federal Bureau of Investigation has the painting and we expect to put it on display in March,” the museum spokeswoman said.

COMMENT: Marcia Fuqua told the Potomack Company auction house that the painting had the name “Renoir” on the frame.

Marcia Fuqua told the auction house that the painting had the name “Renoir” on the frame, Potomack Company director Elizabeth Wainstein said.

The Potomack Company determined that the painting was authentic and was unable to find the work in a registry of stolen art. Fuqua planned to sell the work at auction.

A reporter at THE WASHINGTON POST, however, discovered that the painting had been loaned to the BMA for a 1937 exhibition by its owner, Herbert L. May, who was married to a museum donor.

The BMA initially said it did not own the painting, but museum officials later found an index card in the archives showing that the Renoir had been stolen from the BMA in 1951.