The Artist, The Electrician, His Wife, His Uncle, and
the Probe into the Presumably Purloined Picassos

By now you’ve probably heard about the treasure trove of presumably purloined Picasso works on paper that walked into Claude Picasso’s office a while back, in the hands of Picasso’s electrician and his wife.  Perhaps you caught the “60 Minutes” special on this story on Sept. 25th.  I had totally missed it, but a number of friends clued me in.  I had been dying with curiosity to see photos of this treasure trove, and I’m sure some were displayed during that segment.  But a dozen of them, a tantalizingly small number but more than had been published before, are now illustrated online, with the following introduction, “When 271 never-before-seen Picassos appeared in 2010 the art world was stunned. Were they really a gift or was the artwork stolen? Bill Whitaker reports.” They’re undated at present, and they have been conferred serviceable titles as you can see.  Here are some of my faves.   What magnificent Picassos:


Why the chauffeur, you ask?  Maurice Bresnu, nicknamed Nounours (French for teddy bear) was Picasso’s loyal and long-standing driver, to whom Picasso (uncontestedly) gifted hundreds of drawings contemporaneous with Bresnu’s years of service.  They have all (or mostly all) been auctioned by his estate years ago.  There are many wonderful works among them, but if the few on CBS are at all representative, the electrician may well have made off with a superior stash.