Cheat Sheet: $300 Million Paul Gauguin, Jerry Saltz, Leigh Morse, and Mourning Walter Liedtke

Catch up on this week's most-clicked stories.

A still from Forever episode "Hitler on the Half-Shell." Photo courtesy of ABC/Patrick Harbron.

The art world mourned Walter Liedtke, a curator of European paintings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, after he was killed this week in the Metro-North train crash along with five other victims. Liedtke, who was 69, was a scholar of Vermeer and the Delft school, and is remembered by many for a heartwarming and impromptu showing of solidarity with the Detroit Institute of Arts at an IFAR panel in 2013. For more on Leidtke, read Tragedy as Metropolitan Museum of Art Curator Water Leidtke Killed in Metro-North Train Crash and Metropolitan Museum Holds Private Vigil for Walter Liedtke.

A new record price for an artwork, nearly $300 million, may have been achieved with the sale of a Paul Gauguin canvas. The work in question is the 1892 oil painting Nafea Faa Ipoipo (When Will You Marry?). The seller, retired Sotheby’s exec Rudolf Staechelin, confirmed the sale but refused to identify the buyer or the exact price, however the buyer is rumored to be Qatar Museums. For more on this historic sale, see Paul Gauguin Painting Sells for Record $300 Million to Qatar Museum in Private Sale.

Twelve lanes of an Atlanta highway were shut down this week while crews investigated a strange device that resembled an explosive. The culprit? A Georgia State University art project involving a pinhole camera. For the full story, check out College Studio Art Project Gone Wrong Shuts Down City.

The inimitable Jerry Saltz had some strong feelings about the new art reality show Street Art Throwdown, as well as on his own run as a judge for Work of Art, which he claims neither he nor wife Roberta Smith actually tuned in to. For the full interview (and Saltz’s opinion on something called “manx”) see Jerry Saltz on Why Street Art Throwdown is Complete Crap.

Forbes “30 Under 30” artist Jamian Juliano-Villani is being accused of plagiarizing lettering from a mural painted by Scott Teplin outside the Brooklyn school PS130. While Teplin produced his work at no charge (his children attend the school), Juliano-Villani’s work sold for $12,000 at Gavin Brown’s enterprise. For the full story, and Juliano-Villani’s defense, see When Is Artist-on-Artist Theft Okay? Jamian Juliano-Villani and Scott Teplin Duke it Out.

Disgraced art dealer Leigh Morse still owes $1 million in court-ordered restitution, and she credits her ruined professional reputation with her inability to repay the artist estates victimized by her former employer, Salander-O’Reilly Galleries. But State Supreme Court Judge Michael Obus rebutted in court that she has no business running an art gallery ever again, and better find some other way to pay up. For more on the courtroom drama, read Judge Tells Art Fraudster Leigh Morse To Get Out of Gallery Business.

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