Courthouse News Service reports on the suit filed in Federal court against the Calder Foundation over the foundation’s refusal to issue an inventory number for the work Eight Black Leaves which was bought by dealer Gerald Cramer 65 years ago but the foundation says is a fragment and the owner says is not. The suit is reminiscent of another Calder dispute (decision below) that arose a few years ago and was decided in the foundation’s favor:
Calder sold the sculpture to Gerald Cramer in 1948 as a “fully integrated work” and Cramer displayed it in his gallery in Geneva, according to the 40-page lawsuit, which contains another 136 pages of exhibits.
Cramer’s son, plaintiff Patrick Cramer, “a prominent art dealer in his own right,” claims he contacted Christie’s in April 2012 to sell Eight Black Leaves. He estimates it’s worth $1.2 million. […]
“This unsupported assertion was only made after the foundation learned that the estate of Gerald Cramer sought to obtain an inventory number in order to sell the work. […]
The Calder Foundation was once responsible for “cataloguing all the works produced by the artist Alexander Calder and making his works available for public inspection in order to facilitate art education and research,” according to the complaint.
Whatever the merits of the case, it shows the continuing pressure within the art market over the issue of authenticity.