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CURRENT COLUMN

The Case of Dubious Due Diligence
The Case of Dubious Due Diligence

The Case of the Olympic Posters
The Case of the Olympic Posters

The Case of the Solitary Surrealist
The Case of the Solitary Surrealist

The Case of the Recalcitrant Rembrandt
The Case of the Recalcitrant Rembrandt

The Case of the Ambiguity of Authenticity
The Case of the Ambiguity of Authenticity

The Case of Margaret Keane’s Big-Eyed Boys
The Case of Margaret Keane’s Big-Eyed Boys

The Case of Clarence’s Château-Gaillard
The Case of Clarence’s Château-Gaillard

The Case of the M.S. Nov 1910
The Case of the M.S. Nov 1910

The Case of Cruise Ship Art: Part 2
The Case of the Archangel Michael Defeating Satan

The Case of Cruise Ship Art: Part 2
The Case of Cruise Ship Art: Part 2

The Case of Mary Most Holy Mother of Light
The Case of Mary Most Holy Mother of Light

The Case of Leni and the Nuba
The Case of Leni and the Nuba

The Case of the Seductive Souvenir
The Case of the Seductive Souvenir

The Case of the Irish Surrealist
The Case of the Irish Surrealist

The Case of the Developing Dalí
The Case of the Developing Dalí

The Case of Nano-D Technology
The Case of Nano-D Technology

The Case of Dabatable Donations
The Case of Debatable Donations

Edgar Heap of Birds
The Case of the Long-tailed Monkey

Edgar Heap of Birds
The Case of Edgar Heap of Birds

Silent Song
The Case of the Silent Song

Aficionado
The Case of Alex and the Art Aficionado

Portrait
The Case of the Privacy of the Publicity Photo

Potter
The Case of the Potter's Portraits

The Case of the Coy Cornelius Krieghoff

The Case of the Political Portraitist

The Case of the Reconsidered Revolution

The Case of the Anabiotic Abbey

The Case of the Phoney Picasso

The Case of Setsuko Piroche

The Case of being on the Forest Edge with Vern Simpson

The Case of Being at the End of the Storm with Loren Adams

The Case of Being: Under the Table with Thomas

The Case of Wyland's Whales on Walls

The Case of A.Y. Jackson's Smart River (Alaska)

The Case of Red Fish with Blue Breasts

The Case of Looe Poole

The Case of Camaldoli

The Case of MS

The Case of the Misattributed Emily Carrs

The Case of the Doubtful Dürer

The Case of the Purloined Picasso

The Case of the Defrocked Duchess of Devonshire

The Case of the First Wife

The Case of the Dodford Priory

The Case of the Unknown Actor

Art Services & Materials


Confessions Back November/December/January 2016-17

Olympic Poster, London (1948)

Olympic Poster, London (1948)

Practical Art History
(or Confessions of a Fine Art Appraiser)

by Jim Finlay
Finlay Fine Art
finlayfineart.com

Chapter 54. The Case of the Olympic Posters

Several years ago, to coincide with the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, I was asked by fellow members of the Surrey Foundation board to investigate the possibility of purchasing approximately 3,000 Olympic posters to be housed in a newly constructed athletic facility in North Surrey. Some of the posters dated back to the turn of the last century. The collection would be permanently housed in the new facility; however, parts of it would travel to various towns and cities in the province of British Columbia with the intention of promoting the Olympic ideals associated with sports, education and culture.

The collection was located in the basement of the Imperial Palace Hotel in Annecy, France, which is close to the Swiss border. The manager of the four-star hotel, a Mr. Couasnon, was the owner of the collection and had graciously offered to subsidize my stay at the hotel in exchange for the possibility of a sale; the asking price for the collection was $3 million USD.

As the designated art guy, I was summarily dispatched to my destination with the mandate to make a detailed review of the collection and report back to the board as to the feasibility of the enterprise. I flew to Geneva via Amsterdam and was transported to the Imperial Palace Hotel by the hotel driver. My room with a view on the third floor had a small balcony that overlooked Lake Annecy.

On arrival I was greeted by the manager and arranged to meet with him the following day to discuss the logistics involved in viewing, accessing and transporting the collection, some parts of which were displayed in the hotel lobby, rooms and corridors.

With unrestricted access to the secured basement, over the course of several days, I was able to make a reasonable determination as to the condition of the collection and form an opinion as to its value and authenticity. The posters were mostly framed and included those produced by commercial, governmental and institutional sponsors; the collection appeared fairly complete with representative images from most of the modern Olympic Games held since 1894.

In discussions with my host, I determined that he had formed the collection over many years from his association with the IOC (International Olympic Committee), headquartered in nearby Geneva. If I recall correctly, he indicated that he had at one time been on the advisory board of the IOC.

Upon my return, the board debriefed me and they concluded that they should approach the owner to attempt to acquire approximately 100 posters on approval for a trial exhibition. Unfortunately, Mr. Couasnon denied the board’s request and the deal fell through.

Next: The Case of the English Professor, Tom Thompson and Franz Johnston

20th Amnniversary Olympic Poster (1948)

20th Amnniversary Olympic Poster (1948)

 Sat, Nov 19, 2016