A Gargantuan Goof at the Getty, or the Acquisition of a Glorious Gauguin Gone Wrong.

The Art Newspaper is reporting that a carving of a horned devil bought as an original Gauguin by the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles is not genuine.

They say that the carving, Head with Horns, which fetched a record price for a Gauguin sculpture, has just been downgraded and relegated to the storeroom. While the Getty doesn’t divulge the prices they pay for acquisitions, it’s estimated that they paid $3 to 5 Million for the piece when they acquired it in 2002.

According to The Art Newspaper, “Anne-Lise Desmas, the Getty’s head of sculpture and decorative arts, is now writing the catalogue of the museum’s French works. Joining the Getty in 2008, she looked at Head with Horns with fresh eyes, becoming increasingly doubtful about the attribution. She points out that “no other Gauguin sculpture has such a pedestal” and unusually for an important Gauguin sculpture, it is unsigned.

“Another significant piece of evidence against the attribution, tracked down by Fourmanoir, is a Jules Agostini photographic album acquired in 2015 by the Musée du Quai Branly in Paris. It includes a photograph of the sculpture, captioned Idole Marquisienne—so Agostini presumably believed that it was made by an indigenous carver from the Marquesas, part of French Polynesia.

“A close examination of the album suggests that the photograph of Head with Horns was taken between November and December 1894, a time when Gauguin was in Paris (before his return to Tahiti in September 1895, after which he had been thought to have carved the work). Adjacent to Head with Horns in Agostini’s album is a portrait of George Lagarde, a collector of ethnographic material‚ so he could have been the owner of the photographed sculpture.”

A fake Gauguin at the Getty by The Art Newspaper Podcasts

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By Stephen Brockelman

As a Sr. Writer at T. Rowe Price, I work with a group of the best copywriters around. We belong to the broader creative team within Enterprise Creative, a part of Corporate Marketing Services. _____________________________________________ A long and winding road: My path to T. Rowe Price was more twisted than Fidelity’s green line. With scholarship in hand, I left Kansas at 18 to study theatre in New York. When my soap opera paychecks stopped coming from CBS and started coming from the show’s sponsor, Proctor & Gamble, I discovered the power of advertising and switched careers. Over the years I’ve owned an ad agency in San Francisco; worked for Norman Lear on All in the Family, Good Times, Sanford and Son, and the rest of his hit shows; and as a member of Directors Guild of America, I directed Desi Arnaz in his last television appearance— we remained friends until his death. In 1988 I began freelancing full time didn’t look back. In January 2012 my rep at Boss Group called and said, “I know you don’t want to commute and writing for the financial industry isn’t high on your wish list, but I have a gig with T. Rowe Price in Owings Mills…” I was a contractor for eight months, drank the corporate Kool-Aid, became a TRP associate that August, and today I find myself smiling more often than not.

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