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George Ortiz as Collector

I recently commented on the pair of statues of Castor and Pollux currently on loan to New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art. According to the "supplied" collecting history the pair had passed through the collection of George Ortiz; additional reports suggest this was in the 1980s.

Christopher Chippindale and I made a study of the George Ortiz collection (see "Material consequences of contemporary classical collecting," American Journal of Archaeology 104 [2000] 463-511. JSTOR). I thought it would be interesting to see what else had passed through his collection.

Boston's Museum of Fine Arts acquired several ex-Ortiz pieces, two before the 1970 UNESCO Convention (the handle bases of an Etruscan situla, inv. 63.1516a-b [Ortiz 1957-63]; an Etruscan bronze lion, inv. 66.9 [Ortiz c. 1949-c.1965, said to be from Cerveteri]). The two post-1970 pieces are (or possibly are):
  • Attic Late Classical votive relief to two divinities, inv.  1977.171. Collecting history: "By 1977: with Robin Symes ... (according to a letter from Robin Symes, dated November 20, 2000, the relief was previously in the collection of George Ortiz, Geneva although Mr. Ortiz in a letter dated February 8, 2001 replied that he did not recall this piece but added that he could have had a memory lapse); purchased by MFA from Robin Symes, April 13, 1977".
  • Boeotian proxeny decree of Timeas the Laconian, showing the Dioskouroi and Athena Alea, inv. 1987.297. Collecting history: "By date unknown: George Ortiz Collection, Geneva (said to have come from a German dealer and to be from Thebes); 1986: acquired from George Ortiz by Robin Symes, Limited, ...; purchased by MFA from Robin Symes, Limited, June 24, 1987".


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