Saturday, October 19, 2013

Cleveland Victoria

In 1984 the Cleveland Museum of Art acquired a bronze Victory with Cornucopia (CMA 1984.25). The figure featured in the 1988-89 exhibition, The God's Delight: The Human Figure in Classical Bronze, organized by Arielle P. Kozloff and David Gordon Mitten (no. 66). As I have noted elsewhere the Victory "traveled through the art market and conceivably found with" three other bronzes: a relief with two togate magistrates (no. 63; Getty 85.AB.109, "European Art Market, private collection, United States"), a Roma (no. 64; Getty 84.AB.671, "European Art Market"), and a Goddess, perhaps Venus (no. 65; Getty 84.AB.670, "European Art Market").

The magistrates came from the collection of Maurice Tempelsman who appears to have acquired pieces from the London (Europe) based Robin Symes.

In 2008 it was reported that the Victory was on a list under discussion with the Italian authorities. In November 2008 it was stated that a Cleveland committee would report on an investigation into the collecting history. As far as I know these findings have not been made public.

In the spirit of transparency, will the Director of the Cleveland Museum of Art be making the full collecting history of the Victory public? Did Cleveland purchase directly or indirectly from Symes? Which other pieces also passed through this source?

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