A Guernsey auctioneers specialist seeking more information about Picasso’s few gemmaux works set in motion an interesting tale of discovery. Raymond Loewy had bought—and eventually donated to a museum in Evansville, Indiana—one of the few dozen glass sculptures made by Picasso at mid-century. This one, Seated Woman with Red Hat, got lost in the museum’s storage but is too valuable for Evansville to keep, according to local television station WBIR:
Evansville’s Picasso is surely the most spectacular artwork to ever come through town. But only a handful of museum insiders got so much as a peek at it. There was no public showing; the piece was not made available for media photographing. It may even be out of town already. All anyone in the know would say about the artwork is, “It’s in a secure place.”
“I wanted to show it,” said Streetman, “but the president of our board came up with a list of good reasons not to.”
Board President Steve Krohn is a businessman, a lawyer. “It would have cost too much money to insure and to adequately protect,” he said. “We might have had to hire additional security and make changes to the physical plant that we couldn’t justify for one item. We made the only prudent decision.”
The work is hard to value (that’s what provoked the original call) but any significant sale will greatly enhance Evansville’s $6m endowment.