"Missing Masterpiece" to be offered for sale at Sotheby's - Novem ber 20, 2007 On November 20, 2007, Sotheby’s will offer this miraculously recovered stolen masterpiece by legendary Mexican artist Rufino Tamayo (1899-1991).
News-Antique.com - Oct 26,2007 - “MISSING MASTERPIECE” TO BE OFFERED FOR SALE BY SOTHEBY’S ON NOVEMBER 20, 2007 FOUND ON STREETS OF NEW YORK: RUFINO TAMAYO’S TRES PERSONAJES, ESTIMATED TO SELL FOR $750,000/1 MILLION Pictured: Rufino Tamayo, Tres Personajes, 1970, est. $750,000/1 million 38⅛ by 51¼ in. (96.8 by 130.2 cm) New York, New York – On November 20, 2007, Sotheby’s will auction a miraculously recovered stolen masterpiece by legendary Mexican artist Rufino Tamayo (1899-1991). Tres Personajes, the 1970 painting stolen over twenty years ago and featured on PBS’s Antiques Roadshow FYI was found on a
New York City street by New Yorker, Elizabeth Gibson, out for her morning coffee. Ms. Gibson noticed and rescued the painting from between garbage bags set out for morning collection, unaware that it had any significance until much later. “I know nothing of modern art but it didn’t seem right for any piece of art to be discarded like that,” she said. Tres Personajes, from 1970, is a painting of great importance in Tamayo’s body of work, representative of the artist’s mature period, and is estimated to sell for $750,000/1 million*. A highlight of Sotheby’s evening sale of Latin American Art, it will be exhibited in Sotheby’s 10th floor galleries from Saturday, November 17th until Tuesday November 20th. The sale will be conducted by Sotheby’s August Uribe, whose continuing quest to find the lost masterpiece intersected with Ms. Gibson’s slowly growing sense of the importance of what she had found. Mr. Uribe suggested to Antiques Roadshow FYI that they feature the painting in their Missing Masterpieces segment. Without that broadcast, one of Ms. Gibson’s intermittent Google™ searches of the “Tamayo” signature on the painting would not have turned up the identifying reference, which led her to return the painting to its owner via Sotheby’s. Indeed, had not the photo of the painting happened to have been selected as one of the website’s illustrations, Ms. Gibson would not have been able to confirm that her find was probably a missing masterpiece. Tres Personajes was purchased by the current owner at a Modern Paintings sale at Sotheby’s New York thirty years ago on May 11, 1977, and then stolen in the fall of 1987. The owners reported the theft to the local and federal authorities in Houston, and the work was posted on the databases of the International Foundation for Art Research and the Art Loss Register, but these measures turned up no credible leads. Immediately upon recovering the work, Sotheby’s contacted the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Because of the cultural importance of Tres Personajes and its monetary value, and because it was transported in interstate commerce, the New York Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation is investigating the theft. Anyone with information about the theft, the transportation of the stolen painting, or its possession in New York is asked to call the FBI's Major Theft Squad at 718-286-7302. Going on the PBS series in 2005 to publicize the search for this lost painting, Mr. Uribe made a plea for