Dimensions: 16.25 X 12.75
The Night Cafe, Vincent Van Gogh, 1888.
This painting was owned at one time by Russian industrialist and aristocrat Ivan Morozov, but was “nationalized” during the communist revolution in 1918. It then allegedly somehow ended up in a New York gallery, where it was purchased in the early 1930s by Stephen Clark, who at various times served as board chairman of MoMA and director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Clark, a Yale alumnus, donated it to the school in 1961, and the painting currently hangs at the Yale University Art Gallery. Yale University recently filed suit to block the claim of a man claiming to be the rightful heir of Morozov. Yale argues, in part, “Invalidating title to the painting would set U.S. courts at odds with the Russian government and cloud title to... at least $20 billion of art in global commerce.” The heir contends that Clark knew the painting’s provenance was tainted, and that Yale is engaged in “art laundering.” The case is currently pending.