Friday, May 07, 2010

All Your Picasso Are Belong To Us

The Guardian's Jonathan Jones thinks the $106M Picasso sale is a "tragedy." His piece is headlined "Locking our Picasso away," with a sub-head indicating that "we are robbed unless it is kept on public display" (my emphases). He says "what has happened here is a theft of world culture, art history and beauty from we, the people, by the super-rich."

But the piece was not sold by a public institution to a private collector. It was sold by one private collector -- the estate of the Los Angeles philanthropist Frances Lasker Brody, who died in November and was the wife of the real estate developer Sidney F. Brody -- to another private collector. When did "we, the people" ever own it?