Renoir Stolen in 1951
Three weeks ago I posted news of Pierre-Auguste Renoir's painting Paysage Bords de Seine found in a box of assorted goodies bought in a US flea market for $50 (CLICK). The painting was due to be auctioned tomorrow, but The Potomack Company has withdrawn it from sale having discovered that it was stolen from the Baltimore Museum of Art in 1951. Saidie A. May, the last owner of the painting and a major benefactor to the Baltimore Museum of Art, had loaned it to the museum in 1937. The year the painting was stolen was also the year of May's death: 1951 (CLICK). Her 1937 loan of a number of paintings to the Baltimore Museum of Art, including this Renoir, was unearthed by Washington Post reporter Ian Shapira, who notified museum officials. Their internal enquiry revealed a loan record indicating that the Renoir painting was stolen in 1951. There is no known police record of the theft! The FBI is now investigating (CLICK). And what of May's descendants?