Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Esmerian Sale reports: "The folk art collector Ralph Esmerian will not donate his version of Edward Hicks’s painting The Peaceable Kingdom with the Leopard of Serenity (1848) to the American Folk Art Museum as intended, but will instead sell it at Sotheby’s in a May sale of American paintings, Bloomberg reports. The painting has been on loan to the museum since 2000. Recent reports have claimed that Esmerian, a jewelry dealer, is going through financial difficulties. A lawsuit filed in New York Supreme Court states that he owes Merrill Lynch Mortgage Capital about $185.3 million."

Esmerian tells Bloomberg he got caught up in the sub-prime crisis: "Suddenly in the last year, we've had pressures from the marketplace to clear up a few debts.''

For background, see here.