The Wall Street Journal reports that the private mansion of George Nader, Sr., the world’s biggest Haitian art collector, had been destroyed by the quake. The vast majority of Nadar’s 12,000 work art collection was housed in the home, which was decimated by the natural disaster. One of maids working in the Nader home was killed in the disaster. The Nader Collection was believed to be the largest Haitian art collection in the world. WSJ’s Pooja Bhatia writes:
Mr. Nader, 78 years old, began buying Haitian paintings in the late 1950s, sold works to jet-setters who made the Caribbean country a chic destination through the ’60s and ’70s and helped build an international market for island works. It took 30 seconds to wipe out his collection, which Mr. Nader’s son, Georges Nader Jr., estimates was worth $30 million to $100 million. Only about 50 pieces from his mansion survived, according to the family.
More about the recently destroyed Galerie Nader can be found on their website. I do have some questions about the destruction, but those are question for another time, we are all saddened at Haiti’s cultural loss.
The family posted a heartfelt letter on the gallery website:
Unfortunately, I’m sad to report that the Galerie/Museum in Desprez suffered severe damage and is barely standing on it’s own. Galerie Nader in Petion-ville, miraculously suffered no damages. While, we are trying our best to recover as many paintings as we can, many that have been found are partly damage. Although the physical building of Museum Nader may not exist anymore, our love for Haitian art will never die. Haitian Art is a significant piece of our culture, and we will do whatever we can to save an important part of our history.
The meeting saw ICA director Ekow Eshun explain that a staff bill of £2.5m will have to be reduced by £1m for the organisation to survive. Without a wholesale restructuring, he argued, the ICA could be the first major British cultural organisation to fall victim to the recession.
According to the museum board president, if the grant doesn’t come through, “The museum will be forced to take out loans using art from the Dali collection as collateral if the tax dollars or new contributions don’t come through soon…” Not a good idea.
An interesting fact about the new Dali Museum: the 18-inch-thick concrete walls are designed to withstand a Category 5 hurricane.
In a statement released by the Met on Sunday, they said:
“The damage did not occur in the focal point of the composition and the curatorial
and conservation staffs fully expect that the repair —which will take place in the coming weeks — will be unobtrusive.”
Today, Carol Vogel probed the fall out from the incident and spoke to Picasso biographer John Richardson about some problems that conservators will face:
“The Actor” was painted when Picasso was only 23. “He was very poor, and these canvases were expensive,” said John Richardson, the Picasso biographer. He explained that if Picasso made a mistake, he couldn’t afford to throw out the canvas, but rather painted over it. “Nearly all these early canvases have something painted underneath,” Mr. Richardson said.
If you get a chance, please read all the comments to the original blog post at the Times site, which was also written by Vogel. They are very witty. Here are some of my favorites:
- … waiting to see if she goes home and issues a victorious anti-picasso manifesto on her blog (like the Canadian art student who deliberately puked on the Mondrian at MoMA a few years ago) … #
- She really fell for that Picasso. #
- Someone should send this woman a bottle of wine and tickets to the next Damien Hirst exhibition. #
- It’a about time a woman got the better of Picasso. #
- Braque did it. #
- Breaking News; It turns out it was Mrs. Salahi who crashed into it. #
- And why is this not classified as “Performance Art?” Hypocrites! #
- “The damage did not occur in the focal point of the composition” – I am sorry to flatly say this to all of you Picasso lovers but that painting totally lacks a focal point! #
And some from fellow blog nerds:
- I love these comments. “The Actor” suffered in a good cause. #
- This is the most wonderful riff. You’d think all these people, the comment-writers, were in the same room as one another. This is, as the Irish say, great craic. I’ve never seen such a series of comments: it’s the domino theory in comic mode. Thank you, Picasso’s “Actor,” and thank you, anonymous woman, for colliding. #
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