Bankrupt Detroit Assesses Its Art Treasures

Detroit Appraises Art in City Museum

ByJOSH HASKELL
August 6, 2013, 3:03 PM
PHOTO: Banks of the Oise at Auvers, Vincent van Gogh
Banks of the Oise at Auvers, Vincent van Gogh
The Detroit Institute of Art

Aug. 7, 2013— -- intro: As the city of Detroit searches for creative ways to pay off its massive debts, staff at the world renowned Detroit Institute of Art is worried their collection could be in jeopardy.

Detroit's emergency manager Kevyn Orr announced Monday that the city has hired New York auction house Christies to appraise some of the masterpieces in the museums 60,000 piece collection. The city of Detroit owns all the art in the museum.

Museum Director Graham Beal says the state of the city-owned collection has been a concern for months, especially after a visit from Christies appraisers back in May.

"The creditors aren't interested in the future of Detroit, they just want their money back," Beal told ABCNews.com.

Orr said in a statement that the decision to bring in Christie's came at the request of creditors, who the emergency manager is working with to ease the city's $18 billion debt. But Orr insists that "There has never been, nor is there now, any plan to sell art."

Here are 12 masterpieces on display at the Detroit Institute of Art.

quicklist: 1title: Self-Portrait, Vincent van Goghtext: Self-Portrait, Vincent van Gogh, 1887, oil on artist board, mounted on wood panel. Credit: Detroit Institute of Arts. Estimated value: $60 million.

media: 19886013

quicklist: 2title: Saint Jerome in his Study, Jan van Eycktext: Saint Jerome in his Study, Jan van Eyck, 1442, oil on linen paper on oak panel. Credit: Detroit Institute of Arts. Estimated value: $50 million.

media: 19885950

quicklist: 3title: The Nightmare, Henry Fuselitext: The Nightmare, Henry Fuseli, 1781, oil on canvas. Credit: Detroit Institute of Arts.

media: 19885972

quicklist: 4title: Portrait of Postman Roulin, Vincent van Goghtext: Portrait of Postman Roulin, Vincent van Gogh, 1888, oil on canvas. Credit: Detroit Institute of Arts.

media: 19885982

quicklist: 5title: Banks of the Oise at Auvers, Vincent van Goghtext: Bank of the Oise at Auvers, Vincent van Gogh, 1890, oil on canvas. Credit: Detroit Institute of Arts.

media: 19885851

quicklist: 6title: The Window, Henri Matissetext: The Window, Henri Matisse, 1916, oil on canvas. Credit: Detroit Institute of Arts. Estimated valued: $150 million.

media: 19886003

quicklist: 7title: The Conversion of the Magdalen, Caravaggiotext: The Conversion of the Magdalen, Caravaggio, c. 1598, oil and tempera on canvas. Credit: Detroit Institute of Arts.

media: 19885960

quicklist: 8title: Detroit Industry, Diego Riveratext: Detroit Industry, north wall (detail), Diego Rivera, 1932-33, fresco. Credit: Detroit Institute of Arts.

media: 19885893

quicklist: 9title: Cotopaxi, Edwin Frederic Churchtext: Cotopaxi, Edwin Frederic Church, 1862, oil on canvas. Credit: Detroit Institute of Arts.

media: 19885874

quicklist: 10title: Nocturne in Black and Gold: The Falling Rockettext: Nocturne in Black and Gold: The Falling Rocket, James McNeill Whistler, ca. 1875, oil on panel. Credit: Detroit Institute of Arts.

media: 19885939

quicklist: 11title: The Wedding Dance, Pieter Bruegel the Eldertext: The Wedding Dance, Pieter Bruegel the Elder, ca. 1566, oil on oak panel. Credit: Detroit Institute of Arts. Estimated value $100 million.

media: 19885992

quicklist: 12title: Gladioli, Claude Monettext: Gladioli, Claude Monet, ca. 1876, oil on canvas. Credit: Detroit Institute of Arts.

media: 19885929

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