"Summer Afternoon, Isle of Shoals," by Frederick Childe Hassam
Erie County to sell valuable Blasco Library painting. (Erie News, 4/6/2011)
Excerpt: The most valuable painting in the Erie County Public Library's large art collection will be sold if county officials approve a plan that will be made public today.
A copy of the painting -- "Summer Afternoon, Isle of Shoals," by Frederick Childe Hassam -- would be hung in its place, said Erie County Executive Barry Grossman, who drafted the plan.
"Nine hundred and ninety-nine of a thousand people wouldn't know the difference," Grossman said. "They really wouldn't."
He's likely right. In March, the painting was moved from its usual spot in Blasco Library. Appraisers from the Christie's and Sotheby's auction houses studied it in a different room.
Just two people asked the library staff what had happened to the canvas, said Margaret Stewart, the library system's director.
Public officials had been tempted to sell the painting before. A 2006 appraisal put its value at $2.5 million. But when another Hassam failed to sell at auction, drawing less than its $300,000 reserve bid, the study group that had been discussing long-term funding for the library dismissed talk of selling the art.