The estate of one of Jackie Kennedy’s relatives is suing an art collector over a portrait of the former First Lady that was painted when she was 19. The painting is believed to have been lost or stolen decades ago.
When Jackie Bouvier was 19 years old, she fell off a horse. It was not certain whether she would survive, since she was unconscious for a few days.
Shortly thereafter, her father commissioned an oil painting of her to make sure that a lasting memory of his daughter was preserved. The young woman did survive and went on to became one of the most recognizable and iconic women in the country, when she later became Jackie Kennedy, the First Lady of the United States.
The painting was forgotten and lost or possibly stolen decades ago, as the Daily Mail reports in “Estate of Grey Gardens socialite sues for the return of a long-lost portrait of 19-year-old Jackie Kennedy that was found hidden away in a Hamptons art gallery.”
The painting is known to have eventually been inherited by Kennedy’s aunt and cousin who lived at an estate called “Grey Gardens.” It has recently resurfaced in the hands of a New York art collector.
The heirs of Kennedy’s relatives claim the painting was stolen decades ago, while no one was at the estate. The estate of the last known owner of the painting is now suing the collector for the portrait’s return. However, the collector says he purchased the painting 30 years ago from a dealer who had a valid provenance for it.
Estates do have a duty to attempt to regain valuable stolen property, even after 30 years. However, proving what happened in this case could be difficult.
Reference: Daily Mail (Feb. 10, 2018) “Estate of Grey Gardens socialite sues for the return of a long-lost portrait of 19-year-old Jackie Kennedy that was found hidden away in a Hamptons art gallery.”