Ohio Museum Deaccessions Artworks That Could Raise Over $60 Million at Auction

  • April 25, 2022 12:58

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Henri Matisse, Fleurs ou Fleurs devant un portrait (ca. 1924). Courtesy of Sotheby’s.
Paul Cézanne, Clairière (The Glade) (ca. 1895). Courtesy of Sotheby's.

In an effort to bolster its acquisition fund to diversify collections, the Toledo Museum of Art (TMA) in Toledo, Ohio, will offer up for sale three major Impressionist paintings expected to fetch up to $64 million in Sotheby's Modern Evening sale on May 17.

The deaccessions include Nu s'essuyant  (1923) by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, estimated to bring $3-4 million; Fleurs ou Fleurs devant un portrait (1923) by Henri Matisse with an estimate between $15-20 million; and Paul Cézanne's Clairière (c. 1895), estimated at $30-40 million.

Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Nu s’essuyant (1912). Courtesy of Sotheby’s.

The proceeds from the sale are earmarked for future art acquisitions, said Museum Director Adam M. Levine, "to create a new acquisition endowment, effectively doubling the Libbey Funds and leveling up our ability, in perpetuity, to broaden our collection with the highest quality works of art….These expanded funds will allow us to diversify our collection, seeking beauty without bias."

Noting that the museum retains other fine examples by Renoir, Matisse and Cézanne, Levine wrote in a letter to museum members on April 8 that TMA founders Edward Drummond Libbey and his wife Florence Scott stipulated that “artworks purchased with funds left by them may be sold so long as the proceeds are used to purchase other artworks.”

Tags: european art

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