Questions for the RWA Bristol
In July, The Royal West of England Academy in Bristol plans on showing a sketch they allege is of Rudy Vallee by Andy Warhol. They describe the work on the announcement on their home page as the "Earliest known work by Andy Warhol." Further information about the work is on their page about the exhibition at: http://www.rwa.org.uk/whats-on/exhibitions/2012/07/exhibitions-clean-slate/.
[Update: 20 June 2012: That page has now been replaced by the RWA. Journalists who attended the press call will have a copy of the original press release or you can download it here.]
Following are six questions to the RWA:
1. You write that the Warhol sketch has been "valued at $2 million." How much have you insured the work for and who is the insurer?
2. Who valued the work at $2 million?
3. What is the name of one Warhol expert who says that the work is by Andy Warhol?
4. The owner of the work claims to have found it behind a sketch by Gertrude Stein. Do you believe that the Stein sketch is, in fact, by Stein?
5. You claim that "Edith Smith" was "Warhol's former carer." Given that there is no "Edith Smith" mentioned in any biographies or writings about the artist and that the family has denied knowing an Edith Smith, what evidence do you have that Edith Smith was Warhol's former carer?
6. You describe the background as having been coloured "with green and orange felt-tip pen." The felt tip pen was invented in 1962. The sketch is attributed to 1938/39. How can a sketch attributed to 1938/39 have been done in a medium that wasn't invented until 1962?
1. RWA Bristol: "The work has not been officially authenticated and the RWA do not support any claims of authentication by the owner."
2. Statement from Andy Warhol's brother, Paul Warhola
3. Gertrude Stein expert confirms that alleged Stein sketch is not by Gertrude Stein
4. Statement from Warhol expert denying that the Rudy Vallée sketch is by Andy Warhol
5. Questions for the RWA Bristol
6. Rudy Vallée sketch to be exhibited at the Royal West of England Academy as an authentic Warhol
7. $3 jumble sale sketch is £1.3 million Warhol - or is it?
8. The President of the RWA asks if Andy Warhol sketch is "authentic or a hoax"
1. ITV Bristol (Scroll down for video of broadcast)
2. Atlantic Wire
3. Art Info
4. BBC Magazine