Alec Baldwin Sues Gallerist Mary Boone Over Swapped Painting

Baldwin claims he was duped into buying a $190,000 painting resembling the one he wanted.

Alec Baldwin attending "One Night 100 Years" Honoring Arthur Miller's 100th Birthday, on January 25, 2016. Courtesy ©Patrick McMullan, Photo: Sylvain Gaboury/PMC

Actor Alec Baldwin is suing Mary Boone in New York Supreme Court claiming the art dealer duped him into buying a $190,000 painting which was a copy. In court papers filed on Monday, September 12, Baldwin accuses her of selling him a version of a painting by artist Ross Bleckner, which was not the original.

In 2010, Baldwin paid $175,000 plus a $15,000 commission for a painting that he believed to be Bleckner’s 1996 work Sea and Mirror. According to a story published in the New York Times in August, Baldwin had been trying to obtain the painting for years, which was in the hands of a private collector who bought it at auction in 2007.

In the filing, Baldwin asserts that Boone deceived him by promising to get the painting from the unnamed collector, but in fact delivered a different version of the painting, also by Bleckner, and also titled Sea and Mirror.

Ross Bleckner, Sea and Mirror (1996). Courtesy Artnet

Ross Bleckner, Sea and Mirror (1996). Courtesy Artnet.

According to the New York Times, Baldwin’s suit points out the fact that Boone defrauded him by stamping the back of the version he received with the same gallery inventory number of the original.

Boone’s lawyer, Ted Poretz, denied the charges and contested saying Baldwin was made aware from the start he was not getting the original 1996 version of the painting. “Ms. Boone has no interest in misleading clients and we are confident that this frivolous and vindictive lawsuit will be dismissed,” he said in the statement.

Mary Boone. Courtesy of Getty Images.

Mary Boone. Courtesy of Getty Images.

“Regardless of Mr. Baldwin’s unseemly reaction to his own misunderstanding, Ms. Boone offered him a full refund and took every step to handle this in a professional manner,” he added.

Baldwin is asking for the difference between the purchase price of the painting in his possession and the current value of the original Sea and Mirror, which was painted, as Baldwin claims, while Bleckner was at the height of his artistic career.
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