Saturday, March 13, 2010

Frigon Again

The Philadelphia Inquirer's Stephan Salisbury reports that the Philadelphia Museum of Art is suing its insurer to recover for the loss of two paintings it had consigned to the now defunct Salander-O'Reilly Galleries. Two things to note.

First, as we all know, the two works the museum was trying to sell -- Maurice Prendergast's The Harbor and Arthur B. Davies' Mountain Landscape -- were of course held in the public trust by the museum, to be accessible to present and future generations.

And second, this appears to be a repeat of the Frigon case from a few years ago, in which a federal judge in Illinois held that an "all risk" insurance policy covered conversion by a gallery of consigned works. That decision was in Jan. 2007. The museum consigned the two works at issue here in late 2006.