Jillian Steinhauer has a timely piece on Hyperallergic about the Chelsea Hotel’s mysteriously disappearing art. As most know, the Chelsea Hotel’s previous owner, Stanley Bard, often took art work in lieu of rent. He also displayed the art of many residents and it would appear from Steinhauer’s post that much of the art was on loan.
A year ago, Akbar Padamsee’s Reclining Nude (above) doubled the high estimates at Sotheby’s Modern Indian art auction. It came straight from the walls of the Chelsea (as reported in 2011 by the New York Observer):
In January, the Daily Newsreported that Colleen Weinstein, wife of the late nightclub impresario Arthur Weinstein, also began a letter-writing campaign to the hotel’s owners — with threat of a lawsuit — via her lawyer, Samuel Himmelstein. Weinstein claims that soon after she told the Chelsea’s new manager that she intended to taken down her husband’s artwork, all 25 pieces vanished.
And writer and hotel resident Ed Hamilton, who runs the Chelsea Hotel Blog, was lamenting the disappearance of a number of artworks as early as last July. Most notably, Hamilton reported that a painting of a reclining nude by Akbar Padamsee, which had long graced the hotel lobby until it disappeared in 2010, turned up at a Sotheby’s auction, where it made $1.4 million. And most disconcertingly, Hamilton mentioned the discovery of two artworks — including a sketch of Arthur Miller by artist Rene Shapshak — in the garbage on 23rd Street.
Larry Rivers Foundation Joins Fight to Find Chelsea Hotel Art (Hyperallergic.com)