Tag Archives: David Vance

A Collections Loan that Would Prompt a Career Change

The Farm by Joan Miro (1921-2).

The National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, holds “The Farm,” one of Joan Miro’s masterpieces and its provenance makes for a great story as told by Jim Conaway in “Getting the Picture” in the May 2012 issue of Washingtonian.  Here’s a glimpse into its complex history when the painting was owned by Ernest Hemingway and slated for an exhibition loan:

Alcohol–and his own vituperation–was catching up to Hemingway by 1959, when, then on his fourth and final wife, Mary, he agreed to loan “The Farm” to the Museum of Modern Art.  Hemingway was nervous about exposing the painting to the hostilities stirred by Fidel Castro’s revolution while trying to get it out of the country [Cuba].  He insisted that the museum insure “The Farm” and send an emissary to squire it back to New York, but no company would issue such a policy.

Hemingway finally agreed to let the museum’s emissary, David Vance, take the painting, but he ran into roadblocks:  Continue reading