Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Esmerian Sale

Ralph Esmerian sold his "Peaceable Kingdom" at Sotheby's last week for $9.7 million, reportedly a record for American folk art. As Bloomberg's Philip Boroff reports, Esmerian promised the work to the American Folk Art Museum back in 2000, but "about three years ago also pledged it to Sotheby's as collateral for a loan. ... Esmerian said last month that both Sotheby's and the museum had been aware of the arrangement. Folk Art Museum Director Maria Ann Conelli said in an April interview that a promised donation is merely a promise. 'We work on faith,' she said."