Kelly Crow’s excellent profile of Diane Widmaier-Picasso contains many interesting threads that could not be developed even in such a thorough story. The tantalizing hint that Widmaier-Picasso will be covering the smoldering ceramics market, the comments on the Picasso estate’s holdings of sculptures and the even the potential conflict therein.
Nonetheless, one side note stands out: the central role of Claude Ruiz-Picasso.
And then there’s this surprising fact. Despite the Picasso estate’s stature, even it has concerns about lawsuits from disgruntled owners when it authenticates.
In 1989, a French court handed her uncle, Claude Ruiz-Picasso, a furniture and textiles designer and photographer, the legal right to administer the Picasso estate. A few years later he set up the office on Rue Volney where it remains today. Dealers and curators say the business he set up filters out fake Picassos efficiently, and he wins goodwill points for sifting through up to 700 authentication requests a year without charging a fee to do so. […]
Claudia Andrieu, the in-house lawyer for the Picasso Administration, the family firm, said Ms. Widmaier-Picasso may face an uphill battle to convince her family that her research is comprehensive enough to pass legal muster so she can publish it as planned. Ms. Andrieu said the final word must come from Ms. Widmaier-Picasso’s uncle, Claude Ruiz-Picasso, the estate’s administrator. Her findings are notable, Ms. Andrieu said, but some of the heirs are worried they could be sued if they vouch for her research and later find mistakes or forgeries published within it. “Legally speaking, ‘catalogue raisonné’ has a certain meaning,” Ms. Andrieu said, adding that the family “shall be very cautious and not take chances with it.”