Out in Texas, an Andy Warhol painting from 1978 is creating a family feud worthy of a certain primetime soap opera that ran from 1978 to 1991. According to Courthouse News, Robert Fenton, son of the dealer Joyce Balick Fenton (otherwise known as Shaindy), who operated a private gallery out of her home in Fort Worth, is suing his uncle for the return of a blue Warhol portrait of his mother. He filed the suit back in August, and a federal judge just refused to dismiss the case. This sounds like it could go on for a while.
Mr. Fenton says his mother became friends with Warhol and exchanged some art and jewelry for three portraits. When she died in 1984, her son sent one of them–worth $350,000–to his uncle, a dentist, saying it was a loan. He demanded the return of the portrait back in June but the uncle refused.
Big surprise, huh?
In his motion to dismiss, the uncle said his nephew had “failed to state a claim and missed the statute of limitations.” Nice try! The judge declared last week that the statute of limitations began with the demand of the painting’s return–not back in 1984 when it was first loaned.
Let this be a message to all of you: never loan your Warhol to anyone.