Judge Grants Four Seasons’ ‘Picasso Alley’ a Stay of Execution

Pablo Picasso, Le Tricorne (1919). The fragile curtain has hung in the Four Seasons restaurant since 1959, but now the owner of the Seagram Building is trying to move it. Photo: courtesy the Four Seasons, via Facebook.
Pablo Picasso, Le Tricorne (1919). The fragile curtain has hung in the Four Seasons restaurant since 1959, but now the owner of the Seagram Building is trying to move it. Photo: courtesy the Four Seasons, via Facebook.

The Four Seasons’ massive Pablo Picasso tapestry will remain in the Seagram Building for at least another month, ruled New York state judge Carol Edmead yesterday. According to Bloomberg Businessweek, Edmead extended an order preventing the building’s landlord, Aby Rosen, who is the chairman of the New York State Council on the Arts (see What is Collector Aby Rosen Doing as New York’s Arts Council Chairman), from moving the painting pending further hearings. 

The New York Landmarks Conservancy will have the chance to prove that Picasso’s Le Tricorne (1919) is too fragile to move and that the repairs that Rosen has proposed making to the wall on which it hangs are unnecessary.

During the hearing, Rosen’s representation maintained that failing to restore the wall behind the curtain could cause the artwork to “self-destruct standing in place.” In a rebuttal, the conservancy’s lawyer, insisted that “there’s no basis for this other than malice.”

The case will resume on April 30, with expert testimony on the extent of the damage to the wall and the potential dangers the fragile painting would face if it were to be moved.


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