Caterina Caputo

Strategies of the Surrealist Art Market: the 1937 Sale of the Gaffé Collection to Roland Penrose

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The article attemps to shed new light on the sale of the Gaffé collection to Roland Penrose in 1937. The sale was organized by E.L.T. Mesens in association with the Zwemmer Gallery in London, where the Gaffé collection had been initially exhibited. The Brussels Société Auxiliaire des Expositions, where Mesens was working at that time, took also part in this business. Very few paintings were sold during the exhibition so that Mesens succesfully proposed to Penrose to buy approximately forty of them. The whole Gaffé affair was arranged as a strategy to present avantguard artworks on the British market and raise their value.

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