Desk with two catalogues and magnifying glass (new page with text by Matts Leiderstam binded in the two catalogues. Texts printed in similar fond and on similar paper as the pages in the catalogues)
“Eight employees — three building engineers, two security guards, two maintenance workers and a secretary— and about 30 of their family members took refuge in the museum starting on Aug. 27, as the hurricane approached the Gulf Coast and local officials began to issue evacuation orders. In galleries under skylights, paintings were taken off the walls. In the underground storage areas, artworks were put on wooden blocks to protect them from flooding. The museum workers and their families filled every available plastic container, including garbage cans, with water for bathing and drinking, and subsisted on food from the museum café. Two days after the storm hit, on Aug. 31, representatives of the Federal Emergency Management Agency reached the museum and urged them to evacuate. They refused. […] The security company’s armed guards, most of them retired New York City police officers, arrived on small motorboats — along with the museum’s deputy director, Jacqueline L. Sullivan — on Sept. 4. They found two bodies floating nearby.”
The New York Times Internet edition, September 19 2005
At the New Orleans Museum of Art hangs, The Ideal View of Tivoli, 1644, Claude Lorrain (1600-1682), oil on canvas, 117 x 147 cm, purchased in 1978 from the art dealer and collector Richard L. Feigen from New York through the “1977 Acquisition Fund drive”. At one time this picture was owned by a German Jewish couple, who had fled Berlin from the Nazis and had come to Gothenburg, Sweden via Copenhagen.
In April 1970, the picture was moved from the couple’s home in order to be scrutinised by experts at the studio of the restorer at Gothenburg Art Museum. The art historian Dr Marcel Röthlisberger from Switzerland was present at the invitation of the director of the museum, Karl-Gustaf Hedén, and the insurance policy was signed by Pehr G. Gyllenhammar, Skandia AB.
Röthlisberger writes in the French journal Revue de l’Art, no. 11, 1971, that he recognised the picture as the missing original of Claude’s Liber Veritatis, no. 81. He establishes that it probably was painted in 1644 on commission from someone in Paris, and that after an unknown previous history, it appeared in Berlin in 1919, via a Russian aristocrat, whose signet was found on the back of the frame.
In February of 1971, the picture was shipped to London in order to be auctioned at Christie, Manson &Woods. It was offered June 25 as “Lot 22”, with the indicated provenance: “From a Russian 18th century collection. […] Sold with a certificate from Dr Röthlisberger, Geneva, October 18, 1970, together with X-rays and an ultraviolet photograph.” A “Monsieur Marcel Joly” put up the highest bid for the picture.
The profits from the sale of the picture were divided into four equal parts, which were then given over to different causes determined by the German Jewish couple. On January 12 1972, Karl-Gustaf Hedén accepted a cheque for 62,240.65 Swedish Crowns, which was deposited at a local bank. The deed of gift to Gothenburg Art Museum was signed “Two emigrants who would like to remain anonymous”. In March 1974, using “The Unknown Emigrants’ Donation Fund”, the museum bought Martinus Rørbye’s View from the Roman Campagna, painted in Rome in 1835, for 19,000 Swedish Crowns at an auction in Copenhagen.