Sunday, March 24, 2013

Parrish mural will go to auction

The Palace Hotel in San Francisco has removed its Maxfield Parrish mural "The Pied Piper." It will go to auction May 23 and is expected to fetch three to five million dollars.

The painting, which measures 16 feet long by six feet deep, is considered a major San Francisco cultural treasure and is a major feature of the Pied Piper room, selected as one of the city's "legacy bars and restaurants" by the San Francisco Architectural Heritage. The hotel said the painting was being sold because "it is no longer practical for the hotel to display, an original work of this value and cultural significance, in a public area."
Article in San Francisco Chronicle
Thanks, Susan
UPDATE March 25: The hotel changed their minds and decided to keep the painting. Thanks, CGB

13 comments:

nystudios said...

George Lucas would be an idiot not to buy this for his new museum...or perhaps...that is why the palace decided to sell it now, because they know he will???

Carmen Cerezo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Greg Newbold said...

Perfect fit if Lucas bought it. And it would stay in San Francisco.

Teresa Rodriguez said...

Yes! Fingers and toes crossed for GL buying it.

Tristan Alexander said...

Parrish is one of my all time favorite artists. I am torn about this, on the one hand I am glad they want to keep the art safe, but on the other, now it will not be able to be seen by the public!

Smurfswacker said...

Tristan-Alexander has hit the nail on the head. After many decades hanging safely in a public space, why is it suddenly in danger? Now it will reside safely on the wall of some multimillionaire collector. I may be wrong, but the sellers' justification sounds like it was made up after the fact because "we can get five million bucks from it" sounded crass.

DAVID WILSON said...

I think NYStudios and Greg Newbold point out a fantastic option that would give the work a wonderful relevant home, still in the bay, and allow it to be shared with generations to come.

Castle in the Air said...

I had dinner with that painting last month and it was such a delight. At the time it felt like it ought to be a crime, getting to sit there and enjoy such a fine work in such an intimate setting with no distractions except the re-run of a Celtics and Lakers final on the TV. I'd be sad if they decide to get rid of the TV.

bill said...

Sounds like a minor conspiracy to me. The timing of Lucas' museum and the sale of this. Too coincidental. C'mon conspiracy theorists. Not aliens but interesting.

James Gurney said...

Don't know, Bill. If there was a conspiracy, why would it be going to auction? There would just be a quiet sale. On the contrary, I would assume that to avoid the perception of impropriety, the hotel is making the sale openly and transparently. I think Smurfswacker has it right: as the value of the piece goes up, the risks and the insurance become more of a burden and what hotel can't use some cash? Let's hope, as many of you have suggested, that it is bought by a public collection, or by a private white knight who might donate it to a museum.

Duece Fuego said...

Common theme this month. Art increases in value and suddenly only a museum or wealthy collector becomes capable of keeping it safe?

I'm thinking they probably just want the $$.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/18/arts/design/sale-planned-for-thomas-cole-landscape.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

Christoffer Gertz Bech said...

Apparently, they've changed their minds:

http://blog.sfgate.com/cityinsider/2013/03/25/beloved-pied-piper-painting-is-returning-to-the-palace-hotel/

Roberto said...


Actually, I’m rather disappointed that Lucas won’t have an opportunity to purchase these (yet?) for his museum. They’d be safer in his collection than in a hotel lobby or bar.
I hope the mural doesn’t wind up in a stolen collection like the Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney 'Pied Piper' murals. -RQ

http://www.nytimes.com/2002/08/01/us/maxfeld-parrish-murals-stolen-from-gallery.html

http://www.askart.com/AskART/artists/bulletin.aspx?searchtype=DISCUSS&artist=5854