Skip to comments.Woman 'who bought Renoir for $7 at flea market' faces FBI investigation .... painting was stolen
Posted on 04/07/2013 7:12:27 AM PDT by Uncle Chip
A Virginia woman claiming to have purchased Renoir painting for $7 at a flea market has been unmasked and is now under FBI investigation after it emerged the painting was stolen in 1951.
Marcia 'Martha' Fuqua from Loudon County, Virginia, had tried to remain anonymous and said she purchased the painting simply for its frame and had no special understanding of art.
But it has now emerged that the painting 'On the Shore of The Seine' was reported stolen from the Baltimore Museum of Art in 1951, according to the Washington Post.
The FBI seized the painting late last year after learning that information and it has since emerged that Fuqua's mother was a painter who specialised in reproducing the work of several artists including Renoir.....
In Fuqua's September interview she told the Post, 'Its all very coincidental ... I am one of those people that believes that things happen for a reason.'
'I noticed the frame on this picture and I liked the frame. I bid $7 and I won the box,' she said.
Though the frame boldly shows a center plaque reading RENOIR on it, she said she never thought that it would be authentic, it having been found in a box at a flea market after all.
(Excerpt) Read more at dailymail.co.uk ...
It would be curious to know where it sat from 1959 to 2013. My humble bet is that some insider to the Museum stole it, and put it for safe-keeping in the attic til they could re-sell it. The guy passes away, and it all gets parted up with relatives who never know the value.
How could the cops know about it unless she tried to sell it? If she tried to sell it to a legitimate art dealer then she couldn’t have known it was stolen. If she tried to sell in underground then it must have been an undercover cop that nabbed her.
Any other theories?
Looks like she wasted her $7.
I gotta get an eye exam. The frame is clear but the painting is fuzzy.
If I saw that at a flea market I would have pegged it as a fake.
Most of the “art” that fetches millions of dollars looks just like the stuff that I put on the fridge when the kids brought it home from school.
I don’t know how an art authority could possibly know that it was being sold in a flea market. They don’t usually attend such low brow markets.
The only thing I can think of is that the authorities were more aware of the location of this particular painting than they were willing to admit to and just were biding their time until it saw daylight.
Well,,,, Today,,,, Art can be a booger with a hair in it!
I first thought, why would anybody pay $7 for that, then I thought ... Hell why would anybody steal it.
RENOIR 1841-1919 on the frame and someone sells it for $7???? They don't bother to check to see if the painting is a Renoir???
And the daughter of a woman who restored works of art like Renoir just happens to find it in a flea market????
It's been in the family for 60 years and the daughter knew it was stolen and came up with the $7 flea market story so she could claim it as hers and unload it for a load.
Lived a good part of my life in Baltimore.
Amazed that they had a Renoir to begin with.
Read the article. Her mother was an artist and she did reproductions, especially Renoir.
Looks like she needed money and decided to chance it.
In Fuqua's September interview she told the Post,
You know, I'm no expert, but isn't it RULE NUMBER ONE that if you're " trying to remain anonymous", that you DON'T GIVE INTERVIEWS ?
Renoir’s paintings are really something...
I was looking at a print of a large one, one day, and suddenly a real-life image of what he was painting must have looked like snapped into my head, and I couild see it as vividly in my imagination as if I was standing there. I could see how he capture the feel of it perfectly
40 years later I still rmemeber that sudden feeling, in every Renoir I look at.
I get a slight feeling of it again from this one...
There were two wealthy, Baltimore high society sisters, Claribel and Etta Cone in the early 20th Century who put together an impressive collection of Impressionist and post-Impressionist paintings which they left to the BMA and Walters Art Gallery pretty well known in art circles as, "the Cone Collection."
Not sure if this painting was part of it, but certainly wouldn't be surprised if it was.
If only there was more information than that excerpt, somewhere...
All right — I’ll bite — what real life image are we looking here???
I read the article and it doesn’t give a clue as to how the authorities could have known about it being in a flea market.
It’s quite common for the authorities to not release certain information lest they compromise the case, methods, or eyewitnesses.
I think it was meant to be used as a Rorschach Test.
She did try to sell it at auction.
After it was appraised at $75,000 to $100,000, she made arrangements to have it sold through an auction to be conducted by the Potomack Company. The auction house announced shortly before the sale that it was pulling the painting from its listings after a Washington Post reporter uncovered its history.
How she got it could have been a true story or it could have been something she just made up to cover how she really got it. That's why it's being investigated.
She looked exactly like a gal who was in my 19th Century Art class in college. When the prof put the slide up on the screen, every student in the class did a double take...needless to say, she was a bit embarassed.
She trumpeted its flea market provenance in at least one published interview.
“After the auction house was contacted by a Washington Post reporter who revealed the piece’s theft, the FBI stepped in, immediately removing the painting from Fuquas possession.”
I see a man dumping Rorschach into the river.
If she bought it just for the frame why was the painting still in it ?
As well most thieves sell stolen property within days if not hours. So her momma is suspect due her profession / hobby skill set.
Momma may have passed away recently and daughter tried to cash in...
My “what if” on the matter....aka serious wild ass guess...SWAG !
***Looks like she wasted her $7.***
Renoir was a good artist. This looks like he used this canvas to wipe excess paint from his brushes after he was done painting for the day.
Too bad. Two hairs would make the booger a masterpiece.
not just today.....still cannot understand what a “Jackson Pollack” is....what crap...
Oooops How did that happen???
Hopefully, she’s only out the $7 and not tons of legal fees for this investigation.
She no doubt has her fingers crossed that her deceased mother’s fingerprints don’t show up on the picture frame.
Does that mean you know where it sat from 1952 thru 1958? /sarcasm
She said she stored it in a plastic trash bag for two years, even in a shed at one point, before having it authenticated as a genuine Renoir.
Supposedly the brother recanted his story about how long it had been in the family.
Maybe all this publicity over its theft and sequestration for 60 years is part of a plan to drive up its value.
A picture of her from 2010 in blackjack school.
Fuqua's mother graduated Goucher College with a degree in fine art, before in 1957 receiving a masters degree from the Maryland Institute College of Art.
Hard to tell if she received her masters in 1957 or fine art degree, but I assume it was the fine art degree.
From her picture she appears to have been born in the laste 40's, but more likely in the 50's. So she was either not born or the youngest art thief in history.
Extremely high probability she did not steal it. Maybe they are trying to determine if mom stole it based on the brother's initial accusation that it has been in the family for 50 to 60 years.
Thanks Uncle Chip.
If she had needed money she sure didn’t get it by strealing the painting. Not sure mom even had the opportunity to paint reproduction and replace original with it. While the article states in 1957 she either graduated with her art degree or obtained her Masters Degree but it is not really clear which was accomplised in 1957 because of the poor manner that information was presented. So I doubt that she possessed the necessary skills to pull of a quality reproduction of Renoir. If, however, at whatever her age was in 1951, mom that is, possessed the talent to reproduce Renoir’s style then she could have supplied that to the actual art thief/thieves and stored the paining for them. But even that I see as doubtful. The article fails to really elaborate on her skills, but rather only insinuates the possibility since she apparently was know to have created reproductions.
Heavy drug usage will do that I am told.
But fencing stolen property is against the law.
It might be one thing to say that I found it amongst my mom's things, but the "I got it at a flea market" story is standard fencing lingo.
40 years later I still rmemeber that sudden feeling,
LSD has been known to cause flashbacks, even decades later......
Looked up Maryland , no statute of limitations on ANY felony. If you’re going to steal a masterpiece wait til it’s on display in another state.
>>She looked exactly like a gal who was in my 19th Century Art class
Dang, you’re old. I didn’t realize women could go to college in the 19th Century.
LOL- this was way different
I wish everyone could experience it
When I saw one of his paintings, it was of a bridge over some sort of water garden. I had an instantaneous flash of the actual water garden in my mind, I dont know how or why- it was so strong and vivid it nearly knocked me over.
Quite an amazing experience- it was if I was instantaneously transported there and saw the actual thing, and transported back (in like a half a second)