Supposed missing $45,000 artwork found with proper buyer |

Supposed missing $45,000 artwork found with proper buyer

by Jay Hamburger OF THE RECORD STAFF

An expensive painting that had been reported missing from a Main Street gallery has been located and was in the proper hands, the Park City Police Department said on Monday.

The Thomas Kearns McCarthey Gallery in mid-April reported that the painting, made by the late Russian impressionist Grigoriy Leontievich Chainikov, missing. Gallery officials were not sure what had happened to the piece when they informed the police.

Rick Ryan, a police captain, said the owner of the gallery had entered into a sale agreement with someone in Park City several years ago. The sale was finalized then, but the transfer of the piece, called "Old Wheels," was not entered into the gallery’s records, Ryan said.

The sale was made off the premises of the gallery, apparently causing the confusion, according to Ryan. The captain was not sure how much the piece fetched in the sale. The gallery told the police the painting, which measures 46 inches by 51 inches, was valued at $42,000 and it was inside a $3,000 frame.

A sale that was not recorded properly had been considered a possibility since the painting was reported missing.

Ryan said a friend of the buyer saw a picture of the piece in an April 21 Park Record article reporting on the painting’s disappearance. The article was based on a police report that had been filed on April 12.

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The friend contacted the person who bought the painting. The painting’s owner then told the police he properly purchased the piece, the captain said. Ryan said the painting, an oil on canvas that depicts a man in what appears to be a barn rolling out what looks like a wagon wheel, is on display at the buyer’s house.

Investigators and a gallery official said just after it was reported missing to the police the painting might have been misplaced somehow or transferred without there being a record. The Thomas Kearns McCarthey director said after the police report was filed it was unlikely someone stole the painting from the gallery.

It is rare in Park City that an object valued as high as the painting disappears or is stolen. Had it been taken, the case would have been among the costliest losses reported to the Police Department in years.