Art/Museums logo

Chinagate logo

The City Review's "Chinagate" coverage

makes Page Six of The New York Post

the second time in four days.

By Carter B. Horsley

The City Review's article on a major donor of Chinese paintings maintaining that the newly reinstalled Chinese Paintings galleries at the Metropolitan Museum had violated his contract was picked up by Page Six of The New York Post June 3, 1997.

It was the second time within four days that the famous gossip column had reported on exclusive stories first disclosed in The City Review. On May 31, 1997, the lead article of Page Six of The New York Post carried the headline, "Questions over new Met artwork," which referred to a group of stories (Chinagate, Chinagate Update, and edited New York Times story) in The City Review that focus on the Chinese Paintings department of the museum that recently received the promise of a gift of 11 paintings from the collection of C. C. Wang, a New York painter and collector who had sold the museum 25 other paintings in 1973.  See also The New Yorker magazine quotes expert with serious doubts about centerpiece of recent Tang gift, doubts that were first raised in The City Review, and discloses that C.C. Wang plans to auction 40 works at Sotheby's where his grandson is the "resident Chinese-painting expert."

The new Page Six article confirmed many of the details of the article in The City Review, while adding a comment from the museum that it believed it has "honored" its commitment to the donor.

The New York Post Page Six June 3, 1977 article is printed below in full.

Met donor fumes over wall space

One of the guests of honor at the Metropolitan Museum's May 19 fete celebrating the opening of the new Chinese galleries angrily stormed out of the Temple of Dendur before dinner was served. And that's not all. Robert H. Ellsworth says he may want his paintings back, too. Ellsworth, a prominent author and collector who has given the Met a collection of Chinese paintings valued at more than $10 million, was one of eight dignitaries being honored that night. (Brooke Astor and the Douglas Dillons were among the others.) But when Ellsworth saw his paintings, he was shocked. "They cut all the space back and they didn't live up to their contract," he told Page Six. He said the Met had put up a bronze plaque with his name on it, but that it hadn't lived up to an agreement to devote 840 feet to a rotating show of the 19th & 20th Century works he had donated, giving them just 600 feet. Ellsworth told Carter Horsley, editor of the Internet magazine The City Review, that he's waited ten years to get his paintings hung. If the Met won't give them the proper space, he said, it should return them. "My lawyer is going to handle it," Ellsworth said, adding he is waiting for Met director Philippe De Montebello to return from England to resolve the dispute. But it's highly unusual for a donor to ask to have his donations returned, and the Met may not just let the masterworks go. "The museum is deeply grateful to Mr. Ellsworth for his years of generosity," Met spokesman Harold Holzer said, "but we believe we have honored all of our commitments" to him.

Orientations Magazine carries two long commentaries on controversy over attributions of Chinese paintings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

The City Review sends a letter to Orientations Magazine but it is not published

Metropolitan Museum Shows C. C. Wang Collection in 1999 and concedes there are scholarly disputes over "Along the Riverbank"

 

Use the Search Box below to quickly look up articles at this site on specific artists, architects, authors, buildings and other subjects

 
Home Page of The City Review