Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Art Loss Register sues Solomon over Rockwell's Russian Schoolroom case

The Art Loss Register (ALR), which for a time represented Jack Solomon, the Nevada-based art dealer who recently lost his title battle with Judy Goffman Cutler over Norman Rockwell's Russian Schoolroom, is to sue their former client.

The ALR has declined to comment further on the case on sub judice grounds, but it would appear to be because Solomon failed to apprise them of the full details of the case. The ALR claims that its role was purely that of "mediator" in the dispute and that neither Solomon nor Judy Goffman Cutler were fully open in their disclosures to the ALR. Judy Goffman Cutler vehemently denies this.

Following the painting's mysterious disappearance in 1973 from Solomon's Arts International Gallery in Missouri, his insurers Chubb paid him $20,000 in compensation for the loss. When the painting reemerged in 1988 at Goldberg Auction Galleries in New Orleans, Solomon was a beneficiary at the sale when the $70,400 auction proceeds were shared between Solomon, Chubb, Goldberg Auction Galleries, and the 'couple' who consigned it for sale and whose identity has never been revealed.

Judgement of Solomon
Yesterday, Solomon's attorney Michael Mushkin told the Los Angeles Times that his client will appeal the decision of Nevada District Court Judge Roger L. Hunt on the grounds that Solomon never consented to the sale of Russian Schoolroom at the 1988 auction, despite having trousered his share of the proceeds.

According to Nevada court documents, Solomon told the FBI on 16 October 1988 that he had agreed to share the auction proceeds with the other parties because neither he nor his insurance company had any documents to prove that Russian Schoolroom was his.

Court documents state that:

"The FBI communication concluded by stating that due to the settlement between Solomon and Goldberg Gallery, the painting should not be seized at the October 28 auction in New Orleans."

Solomon's subsequent attempts to clip the ticket a third time by suing Judy Goffman Cutler for ownership of the painting appear to stem from his earlier assertion that: "I'm sure in two calls I could turn [Russian Schoolroom] over for x million dollars".

With the ALR's suit against Solomon and Solomon's appeal both in the pipeline, it seems this one could run and run.

1 comment:

Matt Warner said...

Great article, but I have a correction for you. Roger Hunt is actually a judge with the United States District Court, not the Nevada District Court. The case took place in the United States District Court, District of Nevada.