The Art of Pierre Brassau

I received an email from Maria in Sweden who reports that when her mother recently passed away she became the owner of a painting by Pierre Brassau, the monkey artist. (See the article about Pierre Brassau in the hoaxipedia. To sum up the story: in 1964 a Swedish reporter placed some paintings drawn by a monkey in an art show, claiming they were the work of an avant-garde French artist, Pierre Brassau. After critics praised the paintings, he revealed the hoax.) Apparently Maria's mother had received the painting in 1970 as a gift and had kept it ever since.

This is the first time I've ever seen one of Brassau's paintings, despite having searched for pictures of them in the past.

Maria seems to be interested in selling the painting. She's already contacted an auction house. I wouldn't mind owning it, but I'm sure it's worth far more than I can afford. I know that one of his paintings sold for $90 in 1964, which is at least $600 in today's money (or maybe as much as $1600 depending on how you calculate the rate of inflation).

Update: Maria tells me that it will be auctioned off at Bukowskis auction company. Strike that. It's no longer going to be auctioned at Bukowskis.

Animals Art

Posted on Mon Feb 25, 2008


Let's take up a collection for Alex!
Posted by Tah  on  Mon Feb 25, 2008  at  04:28 PM
I'm in for $10.
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Tue Feb 26, 2008  at  01:08 AM
I'd contribute to buying it for the museum, not the curator, but under that assumtion - sure, I'm in for up to 25 bucks (provided the dollar doesn't make a recovery!)
Posted by outeast  on  Tue Feb 26, 2008  at  06:23 AM
I'd paypal you $10 if you wanted
Posted by Oppiejoe  on  Tue Feb 26, 2008  at  07:32 AM
Thanks for the offers, but before the museum starts acquiring expensive pieces of art, it needs an actual place to hang that art. i.e. a real museum building. Otherwise it would just get hung up in my dining room, which would be a waste.

Now, if some very rich person wants to donate funds to help me open a real Museum of Hoaxes, I'm more than willing to accept their money.

In fact, I know the exact location I want to open the museum: in Grovers Mill, New Jersey, site of the 1938 Martian invasion. Right in the middle of that town there's a house that's currently privately owned. In their backyard is the watertower that some people mistook for a Martian and shot at. The owners of the house have grown trees around the watertower so that you can't even see it anymore. I think that's a total waste of a national landmark. I want to buy their house and open the museum of hoaxes there.
Posted by The Curator  in  San Diego  on  Tue Feb 26, 2008  at  08:59 AM
Chicken and egg, dude - you need a collection to put in the museum, too. You can build the collection first... and a quick fundraising drive is more likely to fund a painting than a property. Even with today's property cisis!
Posted by outeast  on  Tue Feb 26, 2008  at  09:02 AM
True, I do need a collection. But we don't even know the price of the monkey painting. It could easily fetch a couple thousand at auction, which I assume would put it well out of our reach.

I wish I was rich.
Posted by The Curator  in  San Diego  on  Tue Feb 26, 2008  at  09:16 AM
I apologize for the pedantry but there is no way of calculating inflation that will make $90 in 1964 into 1600 in 2008. The "measures of worth" you linked to should have made that clear.

The $1600 figure is US GDP price adjusted which means that its adjusted for price AND quantity AND quality changes (which in no sense of the word is "inflation").
Posted by Floormaster Squeeze  on  Tue Feb 26, 2008  at  10:00 AM
If I win the lottery, that house in Grovers Mill will be yours!
Posted by Terran  on  Tue Feb 26, 2008  at  12:33 PM
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