The Philadelphia Museum made a bad deal with Lawrence Salander, now they want their insurance company to pay $1.5m to cover the loss of works by Maurice Prendergast and Arthur B. Davies, reports Bob Warner in the Philadelphia Enquirer:
Dueling lawsuits – one filed in Maryland by the museum, the other filed in Manhattan by its insurer, AXA Art Insurance Corp. – agree on the basic facts in the Art Museum case.
In September 2006 – about two weeks after taking possession of the two museum paintings – Salander sold the Prendergast painting, “The Harbor,” for $1.5 million to another New York gallery.
But he had a six-month concession agreement with the museum and didn’t tell it about the sale. Instead, he told the museum that he was having trouble with the paintings, until February 2007, when he reported that a buyer was willing to pay $800,000 for the pair. The museum agreed to the sale, and Salander promised a string of monthly $100,000 payments, beginning in May 2007.