Wednesday, November 15, 2000

Speed Museum purchases Cezanne painting for $3.5M

The Associated Press

        LOUISVILLE — The Speed Art Museum, Kentucky's largest art museum, has acquired a painting by post-impressionist Paul Cezanne for $3.5 million.

        Museum officials lauded the painting, “Two Apples on a Table,” as the most important addition to its collection since it acquired Rembrandt's “Portrait of a Woman” in 1977 for $1.2 million.

        “We are thrilled to add this wonderful small masterpiece to the Speed's collection,” said Peter Morrin, museum director. “It is truly a lasting gift to our community and region.”

        The 9-by-13-inch painting went on display Tuesday in the Speed's main gallery. Mayor Dave Armstrong, who attended the unveiling ceremony, said the painting “adds to the overall positive direction that Speed is moving,” under Mr. Morrin.

        The painting was paid for through donations, with the Alice Speed Stoll Accessions Trust providing most of the cost.

        The painting had been in the hands of private collectors for years before Ruth Cloudman, the museum's curator, spotted it on display in a Paris, France, art gallery, which had been commissioned to sell it for a Japanese collector, said museum spokeswoman Penny Peavler. That collector, whose name was not released, had owned it since 1991.

        “Two Apples on a Table” was painted some time between 1895 and 1900.

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