A Jury Sides With Top Art Collector Andy Hall in a Dramatic Lawsuit Over Fake Golub Paintings, Awarding Him $468,000
Andrew Hall bought 24 fake Leon Golubs from a mother and son over a period of two years.
A New Hampshire court has ordered a mother and son who sold fake Leon Golub paintings to pay art collector Andrew Hall a fee of $468,000, plus damages and attorney’s fees. The knotty case, which was covered thoroughly by local media, illustrated how even a top art collector could be duped into buying inauthentic works.
“The jury has returned with a verdict for Andy Hall in the full amount we sought,” Hall’s lawyer, Ted Poretz of New York’s Zukerman Gore Braneis & Crossman told artnet News in an email. “We’re delighted.”
The hedge-fund manager and art collector—one of the most prolific in the world—purchased 24 forgeries from Lorettann Gascard, an artist and art history professor who studied under Golub, and her son, Nikolas Gascard, between 2009 and 2011. At first, Hall bought the works at auction before cutting out the middleman and dealing directly with Nikolas.
Hall only became suspicious of the works when he asked the Golub Foundation to take a look at them ahead of a planned exhibition at one of his private art spaces, the Hall Art Foundation, a converted 19th-century farmhouse in Reading, Vermont. (He also presents his collection in a castle formerly owned by artist Georg Baselitz near Hanover, Germany.) Although members of the Golub family had previously seen the works in an informal setting, a closer look immediately revealed that they had no record of any of them ever having been made.
Nikolas Gascard “seemed very knowledgeable, very convincing,” Hall said in court, according to the Union Leader. “He was very believable. I saw no reason to doubt any of the things he was telling me.”
The Gascards offered a shifting account of the works’ origin and provenance, but it seems likely that Lorettan made the pieces herself—the duo sold additional Golubs to other unsuspecting collectors, including a pair consigned at Chicago’s Wright auction house under the condition that they also sell three works by Lorettan. According to the artnet Price Database, all three of her works sold, including one for $45,000, but depositions in the case revealed that the buyer was Nikolas under a pair of pseudonyms. No other buyer of the purported Golub works has taken legal action.
In court, the Gascards’ legal team reportedly noted that Lorettan Gascard had a long friendship with Golub, who gave her some of his works. The mother-and-son pair maintain that the paintings they sold are authentic, he said.
The case was tried by Judge Steven J. McAuliffe.
As of press time, the Gascards and their lawyers, New Hampshire firm Cleveland, Waters, and Bass, had not responded to artnet News’s request for comment.
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