Those on the Market for a Graduation Gift Nota Bene — Leopold Museum is to sell a Schiele

On May 31, 2011, Cardozo will graduate its 33rd class of bright-eyed and bushy-tailed lawyers-in-the-making. One of these soon-to-be-grads once wrote an admission essay declaring that after getting a masters in art history she would go on to study law in order to litigate cases such as the seminal case dealing with ownership of Egon Schiele’s Portrait of Wally (663 F. Supp. 2d 232, S.D.N.Y, 2009)

In 2010, the Wally case was settled. Now, to pay the $19 million settlement to the heirs of Lea Bondi Jaray, the rightful owner of the painting before World War II, Vienna’s Leopold Museum prepares to sell another Egon Schiele painting Häuser mit bunter Wäsche, ‘Vorstadt’ II (1914) The sale is expected to take place on June 22, 2011 at Sotheby’s auction of Impressionist and Modern Painting in London. Estimated sale price is about $36-50 million. 

Bloomberg quoted Peter Weinhauepl, museum director, as saying that additional $5.2 million is owed in legal fees following the 13 years of litigation over the title of the painting.  The cityscape destined for the auction block depicts colorful laundry, flying as flags, but the painting’s provenance is believed to be “raising no red flags.”

If one could chose between a Schiele landscape as a graduation gift and a Klimt landscape (Häuser in Unterach am Attersee (1916) one that was also recently sold following an important restitution litigation, see 541 U.S. 677 (2004)), who would not chose Klimt?! But Schiele would be just as nice. And waiting another month to get one’s graduation gift is no wait at all as compared to three years of law school and that coveted law degree.
For more info about the upcoming sale, read ArtInfo.

 

 

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