March 24, 2000
- Drysdale painting stolen
- Security Budgets (Mike Kirchner)
- Re: uniforms (Steve Keller)
- A Pottery And Porcelain Kiln Of Song Dynasty Damaged Thoroughly
- Painting Stolen in Nazi Era Found in Getty Collection
- Missing Bond art treasures stored in London
- Museum of Fine Arts, Boston to Publish List of European Paintings
with Nazi-Era Provenance Questions
Drysdale painting stolen
By PHILIP CORNFORD
Burglars have stolen the only painting Lady Maisie Drysdale had retained of the
works of her late husband, the great Australian landscape artist Sir Russell
Drysdale, who died in 1981.
The painting - Man With A Death Adder, worth more than $350,000 at auction -
was a gift from Drysdale in 1950, the year he painted it.
A Drysdale drawing in brown ink, The Hot Dog, and two paintings by Lady
Maisie's first husband, Peter Purves Smith, were also stolen on Sunday night.
One of the Purves works was French Cafe, painted in 1936.
Police said thieves broke into Lady Drysdale's house at Killcare Heights, near
Woy Woy on the Central Coast, some time after 6.30pm.
Lady Drysdale was not home at the time. Yesterday, she refused to discuss the
robbery, saying it was in the hands of Gosford police.
Leading Sydney dealer Denis Savill said the painting had never been offered for
sale, but would be worth at least $350,000 if sent to auction.
Art historian Lou Klepac, author of a definitive book on the artist, titled
Russell Drysdale, said Lady Drysdale had treasured the painting.
"It was the only painting by her husband which she retained," Mr Klepac said.
"It was a gift from Russell soon after the death of her first husband, Peter,
when she and Russell were just friends.
"It's an important painting - the only depiction by Drysdale of an Aborigine in
his native State. All his other paintings show Aborigines in Western clothes and
as fringe dwellers."
(Sydney Morning Herald)
From: Mike Kirchner Mkirchner@nrm.org
My name is Mike Kirchner and I am the safety and security manager at the
Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. I am currently
restructuring the security department at the museum and have been asked by
the finance department to gather some supportive materials from other
Is there an industry standard as to what percentage of an overall museum
budget is spent on security? Has there been a study done to that effect?
Any info you can provide me would be much appreciated. You can respond to
me directly at email@example.com, or call me at 413-298-4100, Ext. 267.
Thanks for your time.
In my opinion it would be good if you could put floor staff in uniform as it
makes them more visibile and visibility is a deterrent. Be aware that if they
gang up, loaf, sleep in public, etc. they reflect on the image of your museum's
security so you may want to distinguish them from security staff. Also be aware
of the potential liability issues of having someone who looks like security and
may not be trained like security. If something happens they are expected to do
something. Often they don't have to do much, but they do have to do something.
So an untrained or undisciplined floor person who looks like a guard can get you
into liability trouble if they don't react to emergencies in a positive manner.
If they touch someone in a forceful way that makes the person think they are
being restrained and the person thinks they are security personnel, you can be
sued and this sometimes means that museum managers who are responsible for them
can also be personally sued under the "failure to train" doctrine. So again, it
might not be good to make them look exactly like guards.
Finally, the type of uniform you use may effect your Workers' Comp and
general liability insurance rates. Certainly, if they wear uniforms that
look like security or police uniforms they may have a higher Workers' Comp rate
or higher general liability insurance rate. A soft uniform like a bright
colored vest probably won't necessitate a higher rate.
I hope these random thoughts are useful to you in your decision.
Steve Keller, CPP
Museum Security Consultant
From: "wyxhsz" firstname.lastname@example.org
A Pottery And Porcelain Kiln Of Song Dynasty Damaged Thoroughly
The kiln of Song Dynasty located at Jingjiaoyi Mountain, Jingjang City of Fujian
Province in China. Shumou, the local people, leveled the kiln thoroughly by
bulldozer in the spring of 1999 because he wanted to establish a large brickkiln
in the area. In the leveled area of 1,300 square meters, bits of broken pottery
and porcelain could be found every where. Before Shumou leveled the kiln, he
knew clearly that the kiln was important ancient culture site because the sign
and the notice for the protection also be pushed over by the bulldozer. After
the report from local people, Shumou was arrested at once. On 23 January this
year, Shumou was sent to local court. Now he is sentenced 2 years' imprisonment.
CulturalHeritageWatch recorded the try of the case by video after the permit.
We hope it can be put on the Web site, but we have no related equipment.
CulturalHeritageWatch hopes to cooperate with you on it.
Painting Stolen in Nazi Era Found in Getty Collection
LOS ANGELES--The J. Paul Getty Museum has a 17th century painting by a renowned
Dutch painter that was stolen from Belgium during the Nazi era, according to
data provided by museum officials. The museum's painting, called "The Satyr and
the Peasant Family" by Dutch painter Jan Steen was plundered from Belgium
between 1939 and 1945. But from whom it was stolen is not known, according to
the J. Getty Trust data. The Getty is only the latest gallery to join the list
of U.S. art institutions that might have Nazi plunder hanging on their walls.
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art is investigating whether a 15th century
painting, apparently sold by a Nazi art dealer, was stolen from Holocaust
victims, museum officials said Wednesday. The work, called "Madonna and Child,"
is on display at the museum's Ahmanson Building. At a U.S. State Department
conference in 1998, representatives of 44 governments and 13 nongovernmental
organizations agreed on comprehensive guidelines intended to identify artworks
looted by Nazis during World War II. The guidelines included locating the
original owners and settling claims. All participating nations were urged to
inventory each work in their museums and galleries. One of the goals of the
conference was to create a master list of looted art. The American Assn. of Art
Museum Directors also urged members to study the provenance of all works
created before 1945 that changed hands between 1933 and 1953. Earlier in the
month, Britain's National Museum Directors Conference listed more than 300
works that might have been stolen from Jews. American museums have had more
difficulty creating a master list because they do not report to a central body.
Missing Bond art treasures stored in London
By Mark Drummond
One of the art world's biggest mysteries - the whereabouts of two famous
paintings at the centre of investigations into Alan Bond's missing millions -
has been solved.
John Webber's 1782 portrait of Captain James Cook, a painting of national
heritage significance, is in secret storage in a London warehouse, along with
Chazal's portrait of Captain Matthew Flinders.
The location of the Captain Cook painting - which was insured for$3.5 million
in 1988 - has been one of the art world's biggest mysteries for most of the
The artwork was among 13 Bond Corp paintings and a sculpture sold in 1989
through a Fremantle art gallery. Bond Corp liquidator Mr Richard England claims
the sale was a "sham" deal in which artwork worth more than$6 million was sold
for less than$1 million to offshore companies controlled by Swiss financier Mr
Jurg Bollag and Bond's son, Mr Craig Bond.
The whereabouts of the portraits was revealed in documents that had been
subject to confidentiality orders since May 1996 which were released by the
South Australian Supreme Court.
The documents, obtained this week by The Australian Financial Review, show the
paintings are in a high-security London storage facility operated by Christie's
Fine Art Security Services Ltd at Vauxhall.
They have been there for almost five years and have been under the control of
Mr England since May 1996.
And in fresh court documents filed by Mr England, the liquidator has detailed
an international money chain through which he alleges Mr Bollag routed from
Liechtenstein to Perth the sale proceeds from some of the Bond Corp paintings
sold in the 1989 Fremantle deal.
Those fresh allegations are contained in Mr England's amended statement of
claim in his $13 million civil claim against Alan Bond, sons Craig and John and
others all of whom are vigorously defending the action.
Alan Bond told The Australian Financial Review yesterday he couldn't comment on
Mr England's latest allegations. "Because of the nature of the court
proceedings, the family's just not in a position to comment at this time," he
The lifting of confidentiality orders has revealed for the first time that Mr
England sought secret court orders in May 1996 to secure effective title over
the Captain Cook and Matthew Flinders. He sought the orders after learning the
two paintings had been stored at Christie's in 1995 by SHC International - a
company registered in the Bahamas that the liquidator alleges was controlled by
Mr Craig Bond.
Mr England secured court injunctions in England and Australia restraining
Christie's from dealing in the two paintings, or taking further instructions
from their purported owner, SHC International. It is understood Mr England's
lawyers travelled to the Bahamas to examine SHC nominee director Ms Nancy Lake
and its corporate agent, Mr Howard Lawrence, as part of the liquidator's
Those injunctions, which remain in place, gagged Christie's from disclosing the
contents, or existence of, the court orders. Those constraints may have
contributed to inaccurate media reports that the Captain Cook was seized in 1996
by Australian Federal Police searching for assets Bond had failed to disclose to
his bankruptcy creditors.
The court orders also compelled Christie's to hand over to the liquidator's UK
solicitors all correspondence, invoices, valuations and instructions received
from SHC in relation to the Captain Cook and Matthew Flinders.
Mr England claims SHC first arranged for the two paintings to be stored at
Christie's in April 1995 as attempts were made to sell them.
During the previous two years, Mr England claims, Mr Bollag, through Transit
Trading, had been the mystery vendor trying to sell the Captain Cook to the
National Gallery in Canberra for $1.6 million through English art agent Lady
Angela Nevill. The negotiations reached an advanced stage but stalled when Lady
Nevill could not provide the gallery with clear proof of title.
In his statement of claim, Mr England said that between March 1992 and July
1995, Mr Bollag had succeeded in disposing of six of the other former Bond Corp
paintings involved in the 1989 Fremantle deal. The liquidator has been unable to
account for the other six paintings.
He claimed $US600,000 of those sale proceeds received by Mr Bollag were
rerouted back to Bond family companies in Perth in a series of transfers
beginning in October 1995, when Mr Bollag is alleged to have arranged for that
amount to be transferred from a bank account in Liechtenstein to SHC's account
Mr England claims that at Craig Bond's instruction, the funds were then
directed from Jersey through a bank account in Texas operated by US-registered
Dampier Inc, and from there into a Brisbane ANZ account operated by Carindale
Finally, he alleged the funds were transferred from Carindale to a Perth
BankWest account operated by the Bond family's Hastings Finance Ltd.
In a defence filing in the Supreme Court, Mr John Bond admitted he signed the
two Carindale cheques in favour of Hastings Finance, which he said was entitled
to management fees and profits from a Brisbane land deal.
Contact: Dawn Griffin
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston to Publish List of European Paintings
with Nazi-Era Provenance Questions
BOSTON, Mass. (March 24, 2000)ūThe Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA) announced
today that in mid-April it will publish a list of European paintings for which
it has provenance (history of ownership) concerns during the Nazi-era. A list
of these paintings, which the MFA anticipates to be about 12 to 15 works, will
be posted on its Web site, mfa.org, along with a color image of each painting
and its known history of ownership. Although gaps in provenance are not
uncommon, the MFA has designated each of these paintings as a work of particular
concern because of the timing and/or geographical location of transactions in
its history or its association with previous owners or agents who in recent
years have been implicated in the looting of art during the Holocaust.
The MFA's Web site will provide a rich context in which to study these paintings
and will include an explanation of the MFA's concern about each work. As
additional research findings come to light, this list will evolve. New
information about these, and other works, will be reflected on the MFA's Web
site. These discoveries will clarify the history of some paintings for which
there is uncertainty and could assist in the restitution of works identified as
unlawfully obtained during World War II to their rightful owners.
Since early 1998, the MFA has been reviewing the provenance of works in its
European paintings collection, many of which have gaps. This particular group
of 12 to 15 paintings (whose history of ownership, complete or incomplete, is
suspicious to MFA researchers) has been earmarked as a priority for further
investigation. It has not been demonstrated that any of these works were looted
during World War II; the Museum hopes that publishing this
MFA to Publish Paintings List, p. 2
list of paintings (along with their provenance as it is known) will lead to the
discovery of additional information about their histories which will clarify
"In April, the MFA will post on mfa.org a list of European paintings that have
undergone careful examination by our curators but still have unresolved
questions in their provenance," explains Malcolm Rogers, Ann and Graham Gund
Director of the MFA. "By posting them on our Web site, we are placing them in
the public domain, hoping that individuals will come forward with information
that will explain our unanswered questions. Ultimately, we believe that this
effort will assist in the worldwide search and recovery of works of art that
were looted during the Holocaust and World War II."
In their research, MFA curators examined paintings that were acquired after
1932, created before 1945, and were (or could have been) in areas of Europe
occupied by the Nazis between 1933 and 1945. As research progresses, the Museum
will publish more information about these, and other, works. The Museum
acknowledges that provenance research is often complex, requiring a deep
understanding of the Nazi-era art market. (It is also likely that the gaps in
provenance of some works will never be fully resolved.) The MFA affirms that no
painting will be added to or deleted from its list of concerns until the highest
standard of scholarship in research has been achieved.
The Museum is also in the process of developing a database of works from its
collection scheduled to launch on mfa.org in December 2000. This database will
include general information on approximately 15,000 works from the MFA's
encyclopedic holdings. The database will provide additional access and
information on the Museum's vast collection to the largest possible audience.
# # # Founded in 1870, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston houses an estimated
350,000 works of art in its permanent holdings. The Museum's encyclopedic
collection includes European and American paintings, decorative arts and
sculpture; art from Asia, Africa, Oceania, and the Ancient Americas; Ancient
Egyptian, Nubian, Near Eastern and Classical art; musical instruments; textiles
and costumes; prints, drawings and photographs; and contemporary art.