That $335,000 Woman
Steve Roach, attorney and former Christies specialist in nineteenth-century painting, looks at comps for LACMA's new Jean-Jacques Henner Portrait of Madame Paul Duchesne-Fournet. The museum's Collectors Committee paid $335,000 in a private sale, blowing away an auction record of $57,000 for a Henner Mary Magdelene in 2007. Get this: The Mary Magdelene was being deaccessioned by the Toledo Museum of Art, which acquired it years after it was deacessioned by the Metropolitan Museum. The Magdalene is one of eight large and twenty-seven small replicas of a salon picture, which ought to depress its market value. Roach's take-away: It's tough to put a price tag on a painter so few collectors (or museums) want.