from Switzerland The Beyeler Foundation plans to sale of a series of prized works donated to the museum by Micheline Renard, wife of the late French automotive director Claude-Louis Renard, in 2013.
The donor daughter is not happy.
The Renards had long been close to fellow collectors Hildy and Ernst Beyeler, who founded the museum, and Micheline Renard gave the foundation a treasure trove of 33 paintings of great 20th century figures, including Jean-Michel Basquiat, Sam Francis, Sigmar Polke and Jean Tinguely. The works are the subject of an exhibition, accompanied by an illustrated catalog, at the foundation in the same year.
But lo and behold, the Beyeler informed Delphine Renard, daughter of Claude-Louis and Micheline, that he was considering selling four paintings by Jean Dubuffet – and apparently for no compelling reason.
“I am scandalized and extremely disappointed by what seems to me to be a hijacking of my parents’ intentions,” said Delphine Renard. Journal of the Arts, who first reported the news. âThis collection was the work of their whole life; if they had simply wanted to support the foundation financially, they would have sold the paintings and handed over a check.
In a statement to Artnet News, a spokesperson for the museum said that the board of directors of the Fondation Beyeler has the right to sell the paintings in accordance with its agreement with Micheline Renard. “I would like to point out that the option of at a certain point of sale of individual works from the Renard collection has been agreed with the donor, âsaid the representative.
There is “no current opportunity” for sale, the spokesperson added, and the proceeds will simply be donated to the museum to purchase new works for its collection. Dubuffet’s paintings were chosen for the fact that the artist is already well represented in the collection of the foundation.
Renard countered, saying his mother was aware of the deal “but believed she could trust the morals of the trustees of the foundation so that the donated set would be preserved in its integrity.”
“I am not denying the legal basis of this sale, but contesting its morality,” she added.
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