Indiana Museum Discovers Authentic Picasso in Storage

The work had been mislabeled and forgotten about after the museum acquired it in 1963.

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Evansville Museum of Arts / AP
Evansville Museum of Arts / AP

Pablo Picasso once said, “Everything you can imagine is real.” So imagine, for a second, that a piece of art which sat in storage collecting dust for half a century turned out to be an original Picasso.

The staff at the Evansville Museum in Evansville, Ind. didn’t exactly foresee that scenario — but it’s most definitely real. The piece, now identified as Picasso’s “Seated Woman with Red Hat”, had been erroneously cataloged as one inspired by Picasso and instead credited to an artist named Gemmaux, the Evansville Courier & Press reports. Gemmaux, it turns out, is simply the plural of “gemmail,” which refers to the fired-glass technique used in creating the piece.

(PHOTOS: Pablo Picasso ‘Draws’ With Light)

In 1963, industrial designer Raymond Loewy donated the piece to the museum, where it sat in storage until New York auction house Guernsey’s decided to inquire. The museum voted on Tuesday to authorize the auction house to sell “Seated Woman with Red Hat” privately, citing concerns about maintenance and insurance costs.

“Now that we have a full understanding of the requirements and additional expenses to display, secure, preserve and insure the piece, it is clear those additional costs would place a prohibitive financial burden on the museum,” R. Steven Krohn, president of the museum’s board of trustees, told the Courier & Press.

Guernsey’s has refrained from public speculation about how much the 1950s-era fired glass piece will fetch, but NewsFeed suspects the number will land somewhere in the ballpark of “ridiculously, mind-bogglingly high.” In 2010 another Picasso work, “Nude, Green Leaves and Bust” sold at auction for a then-record $106.5 million.

MORE: French Retiree Unveils Picasso ‘Treasure Trove’ — But Is It Legal? 

24 comments
Geoz32
Geoz32

I am no art expert, so I can't answer any of the critique below, but here's what I would do.  I would, before I slam it, talk to someone who knows something about art.  Too often, we substitute opinion for knowledge.  There are people who actually study and know things.  I think I'll ask them.  I suggest, both in art and car repair and politics and climate change, that we all talk to experts.

Nada Thing
Nada Thing

Can anyone explain why these paintings are considered the work of a master artist? Looks like stuff done by children.

Super_One
Super_One

I was missing in storage for half a century and no one missed it. So how can it have any value at all?

Jim Creek
Jim Creek

most of you on here ranting have fallen under the spell of art. see, if art makes you angry then it has done its job. that's the thing about art, it is suppose to evoke strong emotion. picasso - 1, you - 0.

mr_kev
mr_kev

 Draw like a 8 year old and people will think it's brillant. LOL

Ipmutt
Ipmutt

My mislabeled picasso is up for sale on e bay.

PJ77
PJ77

"I don't know what the artist got, but he shoulda got life."

patrick2525
patrick2525

So this piece of 'art' by Gemmaux is pretty worthless and sits in museum storage. But then this same piece is discovered to be by Picasso, so its now worth a'

ridiculously, mind-bogglingly high ' amount?? So its not about the 'art' itself, but about the person that created it that makes it valuable. So why is that?? (Any of you art buffs please explain.)

Phoo Bear
Phoo Bear

One analogy that *partially* explains this phenomenon:

I have a very old worn-out baseball mitt that sits in my attic gathering dust. Then someone buys it at my garage sale and takes it to an appraiser, only to find out it was a game-worn glove used by none other than Honus Wagner. Same glove, but with its famous provenance revealed it becomes much much more valuable. Historic even.

Private collectors and museums buy all sorts of expensive historical items for display, preservation, or investment. The artistic quality of the item is not always the primary driver of price.

MailOrderLesbian
MailOrderLesbian

This is exactly why we need more tax breaks for the insanely rich. After spending over $100 million for this, some poor sap is hardly going to have anything left in his "job creator" budget for the rest of us. 

Arthur Robins
Arthur Robins

lets see, Pick-ass-hole hated women, hated animals, hated God and loved the devil. he created the most hideously ugly and perverted art ever made.  so he was a great artist why again??? 

johnnyinmtl
johnnyinmtl

I wish that I was wealthy enough to purchase all of the works of Picasso and then destroy them publicly. Can you guess what I think of these cr_p works of art?  :)

Satoros
Satoros

I find it hilarious that this sat in storage because somebody didn't know French.

Charades
Charades

I think Picasso would prefer if this painting didn't see the light of day.

Not the best representation of his artistic abilities, lol.

HR Pufnstuf
HR Pufnstuf

"Mistaken?" How could anyone possibly mistake that piece of crap for anything BUT a Picasso?

painedi
painedi

Really,he was as much of an artist as friggin warhol[stay in the lines!]

Arthur Robins
Arthur Robins

 wow---finally-someone besides me who despises this disgustingly over glamorized fecal con man.

KootieBird
KootieBird

Picasso's stuff does not thrill me, and it totally boggles my mind that people are willing to pay so much for it. Well then, go for it, if you want to waste your money! It's just not for me. I'll spend my millions elsewhere (if I had millions, that is.)

can545
can545

Sell all Picassos to idiot buyers. They are worthless junk. No talent hack. Just look at his early work. If he were truly great at drawing and colors, he would have stuck with that. Instead he chose to distort and thus camouflage he deficiencies.

He has ushered in the era where every person is now an artist and no one can comment or criticize for fear of being politically incorrect.

I am an artist. The majority of those today who say they are are liars making fools out of an ignorant public.

sghost
sghost

Watch out guys, this guy's an artist. He knows what he's talking about

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