The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Local News

May 27, 2014

Dispute over painting settled

SANDY LAKE — A former couple have settled a dispute over an apparent artwork bought at an auction, although court documents show they never really agreed on what they were fighting over.

Samuel L. Reed, 202 Valley View Road, Mill Creek Township, said in his complaint filed Aug. 1 that he bought the contents of storage units at an auction May 16 at Lakeview Self-Storage, Sandy Lake. One of the items was “a valuable painting of a young girl, an original of the artist, Manan,” Reed said.

The work is a nude of a seated young woman, shown from the left side. Reed’s identification of the artist is suspect. Google searches of “artist Manan” and “painter Manan” turned up no helpful results. Dr. Louis A. Zona, executive director of the Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, said he knew of no artist by that name.

Reed said he gave the painting to his then-girlfriend, Tracey L. Donop, 3341 N. Main St., Sandy Lake, to research for the purposes of studying the piece’s worth and background, but claimed that she sold it for $75,000.

Donop, who owns No Thyme Like the Present, a gift shop and consignment store at the same address, provided a copy of a print that she said was the image in question.

Officials at the Butler identified the image as “Young Girl Bathing” by the noted French Impressionist Renoir. The Metropolitan Museum of Art owns the original work, but the image is in the public domain and many art reproduction houses offer copies for sale.

Donop said she sold the print to a French Creek Township woman for $75, adding that Reed gave her permission to sell it.

Reed, who denied that he allowed Donop to sell the piece, came back that what he gave to Donop was a painting, not a print.

Donop had filed a motion for summary judgment while Reed was on his own after his attorney withdrew from the case.

Details of the settlement have not been disclosed, but a May 8 court order noted the suit was settled and discontinued.

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