A masterlist of the works stolen from Brigham Young University, these have been digitized as a result of hopes buoyed by the return of the J. Alden Weir still life painting, once in the hands of the Thyssen Collection in Spain (Click here to read Lieutenant Lemmon’s article) . Aided by the modern miracle of the search engine, three to five of these paintings have shown up at auction and one in a museum.
A Childe Hassam painting complete with Brigham Young University provenance via the Weir family to whom the work was inscribed, passed through a Shannon’s Auction sale in October of 2004. Also noted was a large Ernest Blumenshein painting in a Sotheby’s Arcade sale in April 1995, and a John Frederic Kensett painting that sold at Christies in 1989.
All of these works, plus a few more that may have gone through other sales, perhaps reinforce the notion that the Art Loss Register for years, has functioned as window dressing for the auction houses?
A week ago a NY Times article made the Art Loss Register look like able bounty hunters (Click here to read), but it overlooks a conflict of interest in the auction houses owning a piece of a registry meant to vet title. This would be like Goldman Sachs owning Standard and Poors or another rating agency.
Someday, their list will become transparent with the release of this data occurring to help a museum so shamefully treated in the past. Better days are coming, and in an era of digital transparency, those who dare not ride the Google train, will get run over by it.
CLICK THROUGH ON THE IMAGES TO SEE THE MASTERLIST OF ITEMS STOLEN FROM BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY