October 13, 1961 Andr~ Emmerich And.r~ Emmerich Gallery
17 Bast 64th Street New York, Neut York
I enclose a black and white photograph and several Kodachrome details o:f the Pollock mural ..
Painted in 19h3 11 it measures 8 feet by 19'9" ..
I believe it is the only mural done by Pollock., Peggy Guggenheim, tiho commissioned it, talks about it at some length in her book .
n\e painting has been hanging for many years in the lobby of the University Libra~. It was clamped to the wall, with the bottorn of the stretcher above reach of_a standing figure . t-Jhen t-Ie re!llOved it from the wall recently .... it is now hanging in the Art Bui !ding - we 1rtere interested t.o see that the Library wall back of it was no cleaner than that exposed at the sides .. In other 1'1l'Ords, the painting has been located in a spot unusually free from dust, and its surface is remarkably clean. There is a very small amount of Crazlng at the corner s , but the painting is in remarkably good condition, part~, no doubt because it has been so seldom disturbed.
Our color photographs of the whole turned out too blue, and I am having them made over. The enclosed detailed are better . The arrm4 points to the up direction for viewing with naked eye. To project in a lantern, put the red dot in the upper right, as is customary. The detai 1 numbered 1 is in the lower left and shows the s ignature. Number 2 is near the center of the canvas, to the l e.ft and a little down. Number three is about 2/Jrd of t,he w~ over and a little above center. You are the only dealer who has these pictures, a~d this will authorize you to solicit an offer, Which the University reserves the right to accept or reject . Between not..z end the 1st December no other dealer udll be given this opportunit,y ;, but after that date we reserve right to consider a different a r rangement. As you knot-t, Peggy Guggenhe im is very eovetous of Pollock' s paintings and is engaged in a sui t with the artist ' s widow. We have her l etter of transmittal of the painting and she refer s t o it in her book as a gi ft .. Therefore, there is no /
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question of ownership. Nevertheless, I feel that the whole thing should be handled with the utmost discretion, and if possible vithout any publicity at all . Wh ile to a certain extent the word has gotten around that we are thinking of disposing of the mural, ~e do not think it is known. that this is currently under active consideration.
The sale of the painting \!Till have to be approved by the University trustees, or at least by the ?resident and his Finance Committee ~ I think this should be routine. If I can supply you with additional information, more photographs, etc . , only let me know.
Finally, I underst~~d that your commission would be of the sale price. Do drop me a line as to whether this proposed above, is satisfactory ..
Frank Seiberling Head, Department of Art FStba
10-13-1961 Letter from Frank Seiberling to Andre Emmerich