Saturday, March 2, 2024

Jasper Johns Assistant Sentenced for Thefts

James Meyer, a former, longtime assistant to Jasper Johns who stole paintings from the artist’s Connecticut studio, was sentenced yesterday to 18 months in prison and ordered to pay restitution of $13.4 million to Johns and buyers of the works. Meyer was indicted in 2013 for stealing 22 artworks between September 2006 and February 2012. He had arranged to sell the artworks through a New York gallery, telling the owner that the works had been gifts from Johns. Meyer provided buyers with fictitious authentication certificates and required purchasers to agree not to resell, exhibit, or loan the art for eight years in an attempt to cover up the crime. Part of Meyer’s duties involved destroying art Johns was not happy with and protecting a studio drawer containing unfinished works, from which Meyer stole many of the pieces. Though Meyer returned 41 works after his arrest, prosecutors are still attempting to track down all of the works sold.  This case highlights the sometimes feeble information and authority relied on by galleries in sourcing works, even by living artists.

More via New York Daily News.


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