Stuart Pivar, 88, a prominent Manhattan art collector is suing his attorney, John McFadden, over a bronze sculpture by the Romanian artist Constantin Brancusi. Pivar states that McFadden tricked him into signing an agreement to sell McFadden the sculpture for $100,000 (the actual value was not disclosed in the court documents) even though McFadden claimed he would broker a deal to sell the work to Christie’s or the Philadelphia Art Museum (PAM). The case further notes that McFadden (who, according to Artnet News, was named to the board of the Barnes Museum in Philadelphia earlier this year) claimed to be a trustee of the PAM; however, he seems to have left out the fact that he had been fired in 2014 for misconduct.
Pivar, who is representing himself in court, also asserts that “The aforesaid conduct by (McFadden) constitutes a theft by deception and a fraud … as it was never the intention of the defendant to offer the sculpture for sale to the museum, but rather to obtain ownership of the statue itself by deceit, misrepresentation and subterfuge,” and is seeking $200 million in restitution.
We will have updates once a ruling on this case is made.