Family fueds over painter’s estate

    The paintings of a local artist who died a year and half ago are being fought over in court. The surviving family members of Louis Sloan, a highly regarded African-American landscape artist, have sued one another over his estate.
    Louis Sloan was good, but not extraordinarily popular. He was a landscape painter when abstractions were all the rage, but he won awards and had paintings bought by major collections.

    The paintings of a local artist who died a year and half ago are being fought over in court. The surviving family members of Louis Sloan, a highly regarded African-American landscape artist, have sued one another over his estate.

    Louis Sloan was good, but not extraordinarily popular. He was a landscape painter when abstractions were all the rage, but he won awards and had paintings bought by major collections.

    One group of family members wants to donate his paintings to the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art – which already owns a few of his works. Another group wants to form a private foundation. The first group is accusing the second group of stealing paintings just hours after Sloan died.

    The president of the Academy, David Brigham, says the artist never told him about his plan to donate, but the actions of another artist that was his intention, “One of his very favorite and most accomplished landscapes was purchased by Liz Osbourne, with the stipulation that upon her demise it would be donated to PAFA. She did it earlier. In 2001 she donated “Frost Valley” to the Academy.”

    At least a dozen paintings are missing, but a judge recently ruled the family did not steal them. Still, Brigham says accusations of stolen paintings could put a cloud of suspicion over any Sloan paintings from legitimate sources.

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