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Barbara Mathes Gallery records pertaining to Rio Nero lawsuit, 1989-1995

Barbara Mathes Gallery (New York, N.Y.)

Collection Information

Size: 1.4 Linear feet

Summary: The Barbara Mathes Gallery records pertaining to Rio Nero lawsuit measure 1.4 linear feet and date from 1989-1995. The collection, assembled by Barbara Mathes, relates to the lawsuit Greenberg Gallery, Inc., et al. v. Patricia Bauman, et al. regarding the authentication of the Alexander Calder mobile Rio Nero. The Barbara Mathes Gallery, co-owner of the mobile was a plaintiff in the lawsuit. The files contain correspondence between co-owners of the mobile, letters and accompanying legal documents from their attorney, purchase and shipment records, and invoices for legal fees. Legal documents are comprised of depositions, findings of fact, transcripts of proceedings, trial exhibits, and appeal briefs. Printed material includes clippings and magazine articles relating to the trial. The collection also contains photographs of the mobile.

Biographical/Historical Note

In 1959 Alexander Calder (1898-1976) created a black metal mobile titled Rio Nero which collector Lionel Bauman purchased from the Perls Galleries, New York City (1967). Patricia Bauman received Rio Nero from her father's estate in 1989 and consigned the mobile to the Herbert Palmer Gallery in Los Angeles and L & R Entwistle and Co., Ltd. in London. The Greenberg Gallery, Saint Louis, Missouri, purchased the mobile for $500,000 from L & R Entwistle in March 1990. The Barbara Mathes Gallery, New York; Donald Morris Gallery, Inc., Birmingham, Michigan; and John C. Stoller & Co., Minneapolis, Minnesota, each acquired a twenty-five percent share in the mobile from the Greenberg Gallery.


The papers were donated to the Archives of American Art by Barbara Mathes in 2005.