Section 1  
Salvatierra de los Barros 

A Collector's View of the Art Loan Process

Lessons from the Denney Collection

A Cautionary Tale woven from Art, Law and Letters

A. F. Anderson B.Sc., Ph.D. FIEE.
on the 
Denney Case
21 May 1999
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at the
IAL Seminar 
Art Loans 
May 13 1996
Art Antiquity and Law
March 1999
Anthony Denney the well-known photographer and interior designer built up a large collection of modern art during the 1950’sand 1960’s. A significant part of the collection - worth several million pounds - was lent to the Dallas Museum of Art in 1970. Following Denney’s sudden death in Spain in April 1990, 23 pictures were removed from Dallas to France by means of letters signed "Anthony Denney". The pictures were hidden, along with others from the collection, and were subsequently transformed into an apparently bona-fide donation to the City of Toulouse, thereby stripping the Denney estate of most of its movable assets. The case suggests that long term loans to reputable institutions may be less safe than we might suppose and that something needs to be done to increase security and prevent art loans from similar attacks in the future. It highlights the professional responsibility of Museums to establish conclusive proof of ownership before donations are accepted and of never taking sides in a dispute over inheritance. Lending to a Museum places the loan in the public domain. Open access to informationabout all loans provide the best protection for them. A distributed public register of loan collections accessible via the Internet - DenneyNet - might provide a cheap and practical means of improving security and would be a fitting way to remember a gifted designer and photographer and the recambolesque story of his art collection. 

 Selected items from the Collection

Internet pages hosted by the Museum Security Network
Summary (English)  Résumé(Français) Sumario (Español)  Index   Section 1(English)
Summary .
Section 1 Introduction
Section 2 Anthony Denney - Vogue Photographer- Interior Designer -Collector
Section 3  Sudden Death of Anthony Denney on 30 April 1990
Section 4  What happened after Anthony Denney's death 
Section 5  The Donation - why was there a need to "move as quickly as possible"?
Section 6 Does Spanish or English Law apply to Denney's estate?
Section 7  Denney's Spanish will is used to obtain a declaration of inheritance...
Section8 The Denney Children are sent the will with an explanatory letter...20 Sept. 1990
Section 9 The action moves to Toulouse
Section 10 The defective, but "self improving"Act of  Donation to the City of Toulouse
Section 11 The City of Toulouse is not in any way involved..
Section 12 Discussion - What lessons can be learnt from the Denney Case?
Section13  Conclusions
Appendix A brief background on Modern Art in Toulouse
The Collection A Selection of items from the Denney Collection
The Author Antony Anderson


The Mairie de Toulouse were informed in advance of the meeting at the Courtauld Institute. The Fax response  of  the Adjoint Mayor responsible for Legal Matters was read during the discussion. The Mairie was informed on 16th May 1996
Updated version of this paper was published in March 1999 issue of Art Antiquity and Law 
(IAL and Kluwer Law)
The Seminar Proceedings, including the original version of this paper, can be bought from:
TheInstitute of Art and Law, Bank Chambers, 121 London Road, Leicester,UK LE2 0QT
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Web Pages and text ©A.F.Anderson 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999 
Version 2.1 May 4 1998, Updated May 13th 1999