Hidden Jackpot: Several de Koonings Found in Old NJ Warehouse

What a gallery owner assumed would be a big box of junk ended in huge surprise—and a worthy gamble.  

One of many de Kooning paintings found. Photo by David Killen via New York Post

Manhattan dealer David Killen warily bought out a warehouse of various paintings in Bergen County, New Jersey last year for about $15k, planning to eventually auction off the “filler” works. While recently unloading, he came across large boxes labeled “deKooning,” one of the leading Abstract Expressionists of the 1950s.   

Upon inspection and some expert insight—they’re legit.

 

Willem de Kooning in his studio. Photograph by Eddy Posthuma de Boer via the de Kooning Foundation

After some digging, seems the paintings were under the care of a conservator named Orrin Riley in the 80s.  After his death, his girlfriend, Susanne Schnitzer, took over the business, but a sudden car accident then left the estate to the hands of close acquaintances in NJ. 

Years later, burdened to warehouse fees and unable to find the original owners, Killen was contacted with the offer to buy out the warehouse of paintings, which was legally identified as abandoned property.

The estimated 200 paintings are thought to be from the 70s, made in de Kooning’s East Hampton studio…funny what an artist considered unimportant (didn’t even bother to sign ’em)…is now worth millions. 

Artist and InLiquid member Ursula Hertz Sternberg passed away September 22, 2000. The following is an obituary reprinted from the Chestnut Hill Local.
Ursula Hertz Sternberg
Ursula Hertz Sternberg

Artist and InLiquid member Ursula Hertz Sternberg passed away September 22, 2000. The following is an obituary reprinted…

Artist and InLiquid member Ursula Hertz Sternberg passed away September 22, 2000. The following is an obituary reprinted from the Chestnut Hill Local.…

Artist and InLiquid member Ursula Hertz Sternberg passed away September 22, 2000. The following is an obituary reprinted from the Chestnut Hill Local.…

Eric Toscano's work is the result of an instinctual reaction to materials through using appropriated images, found objects, and nontraditional media juxtaposed in a way that resonate an ongoing inner dialogue.
Eric Toscano
Eric Toscano

Eric Toscano's work is the result of an instinctual reaction to materials through using appropriated images, found objects,…

Eric Toscano's work is the result of an instinctual reaction to materials through using appropriated images, found objects, and nontraditional media juxtaposed in a way that resonate an ongoing inner…

Eric Toscano's work is the result of an instinctual reaction to materials through using appropriated images, found objects, and nontraditional media juxtaposed in a way that resonate an ongoing inner dialogue.…

Michele Tremblay's paper sculptures are informed by her intimate knowledge of flowers gained by working with fresh flowers over the years.
Michele Tremblay
Michele Tremblay

Michele Tremblay's paper sculptures are informed by her intimate knowledge of flowers gained by working with fresh flowers…

Michele Tremblay's paper sculptures are informed by her intimate knowledge of flowers gained by working with fresh flowers over the years.…

Michele Tremblay's paper sculptures are informed by her intimate knowledge of flowers gained by working with fresh flowers over the years.…

In his introduction to "Michael Kenna: A Twenty Year Retrospective", Peter Bunnell explored the notion of the “unheroic landscape,” a term that aptly described the photographer’s “concern for the land more as feeling than about the land as place.” I recognized in this characterization a kindred sensibility that continues to inform my work. I find myself drawn to both the apposition and opposition of natural and human-made elements in landscape photography, and seek to convey the emotional to and fro between timelessness and evanescence.
Geoffrey Ansel Agrons
Geoffrey Ansel Agrons

In his introduction to "Michael Kenna: A Twenty Year Retrospective", Peter Bunnell explored the notion of the “unheroic…

In his introduction to "Michael Kenna: A Twenty Year Retrospective", Peter Bunnell explored the notion of the “unheroic landscape,” a term that aptly described the photographer’s “concern for…

In his introduction to "Michael Kenna: A Twenty Year Retrospective", Peter Bunnell explored the notion of the “unheroic landscape,” a term that aptly described the photographer’s “concern for the land more as feeling…

Han Wang
Han Wang
previous arrow
next arrow