First They Lose a Leger

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Woman and Child, Leger, 1921/DAVIS MUSEUM

Then they lose their director. David Mickenberg, for seven years head of Wellesley College’s Davis Museum and Cultural Center, resigned yesterday, two weeks after it became public that his museum appears to have lost a Leger, Woman and Child, that had been donated to the museum in 1954. Geoff Edgers at the Boston Globe reported earlier that the AWOL Leger wasn’t mentioned in the announcement yesterday by Wellesley President H. Kim Bottomly that Mickenberg was leaving, but it’s fair to suppose the two developments might be connected.

The painting was discovered missing last November, several months after it had returned from a loan show at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art that had ended the previous April. After coming back to the Davis it reportedly sat in a crate for months before disappearing. There’s speculation that it was accidentally thrown out. The Globe reports that investigators are still looking for the picture, but that the museum’s insurance company has already paid out about $3 million to the Davis.

For now you can still find the lost Leger on the Davis Museum web site. And if you happen to find the real thing, there’s a $100,000 reward.