The Langmatt Museum in Baden needs money and auctions off pictures from its own collection. A novelty.
- The Langmatt Museum in Baden (AG) needed 40 million francs to continue to exist.
- Now, on Friday night, three paintings by Paul Cézanne were auctioned off for 40.5 million francs ($44.8 million).
- The pictures were auctioned by the international auction house Christie’s in New York.
The first painting to go under the hammer was “Fruits et pot de gingembre” (Fruits and Ginger Pot). It was auctioned for 33.5 million dollars (30.3 million Swiss francs). The painting was previously estimated to be worth between $35 million and $55 million.
If the most valuable of the three Cézanne paintings had gone under the hammer for 40 million francs, the two other paintings would not have been auctioned, the museum in Baden previously announced. The two other works “Quatre pommes et un couteau” and “La mer à l’Estaque” were also auctioned for 8.7 million and 2.6 million dollars, respectively. It was initially not known who bought the works.
It is an unusual process and new to the Swiss and European museum industry. A museum sells pictures from its own collection to raise money. This was a breach of a taboo, criticized the Swiss section of the International Museum Association Icom when the plans became known.
Before the auction, the pictures were shown to potential buyers in Hong Kong, London and Taipei. The auction house Christie’s traveled around the world with the pictures in the hope of inspiring art collectors.
The villa in which the art collection is located in Baden is in poor condition. The museum ran into financial difficulties. There was a minus in 2022. The foundation’s assets will soon be used up. Because the search for money and investors was unsuccessful, the museum decided to take this step.