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Reno, Nevada: A federal judge has thrown out a defamation lawsuit that Gerald Peters of Santa Fe, NM filed against Coeur D'Alene auction house and Pete Stremmel, owner of a Reno gallery who claimed an early 20th century cowboy painting Peters sold for $750,000 was a fake. The above example is a real work by Frank Tenny Johnson, seen below is the work in question, sold by Gerald Peters to racetrack owner R.D. Hubbard of Palm Springs, California.

Peters claimed the actions of Stremmel and the Coeur D'Alene Auction house were defamatory. The defendants maintained that when the Hubbards sent them a photo of the work to give an auction appraisal, they were unaware of the past ownership of the work and rendered an opinion based upon the work at hand. Coeur D'Alene has sold twenty eight examples by the artist, which can be seen here. Evidently the court agreed as Judge Miranda Du granted their motion for summary dismissal. 

001wrong frank t notIMG 0807Alleged Frank Tenney Johnson painting sold by Gerald Peters, "The Rain and the Sun, 1937" 36 by 44 inches

For more on the story go here for the US News and World Report: https://www.usnews.com/news/business/articles/2018-08-14/defamation-lawsuit-over-alleged-fake-western-painting-tossed

Washington Post: https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/defamation-lawsuit-over-alleged-fake-western-painting-tossed/2018/08/14/7dee4bce-9fea-11e8-a3dd-2a1991f075d5_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.bb6b3c129f1f

002right sothebys johnson throughtthenight 2013 24x18Frank Tenney Johnson, "Through the Night" 24 by 18 inches (Sothebys 2013)

003right sothebys johnson texascobows 1930 2009 24x30Frank Tenney Johnson, Texas Cowboys, 1930, 24 by 30 inches (Sothebys 2009)

004right sothebys Johnson indianonhorseback 2018 14x19Frank Tenney Johnson, Indian on Horseback, 14 by 19 inches (Sothebys 2018)

1000 whitemule strategyFrank Tenney Johnson, Trail of the White Mule, 1921

24464Many of F.T. Johnson images were illustration book covers in the 20s and 30s, if an alleged Johnson with atypical draughtsmanship and was never on the cover of a book, as Apollo 13 once remarked, "Houston, we have a problem"

Screen Shot 2018 08 04 at 23.04.38

You may also like to read:

*  How to spot a perfect fake: the world’s top art forgery detective

*  FBI Agent Robert King Wittman on Art Theft

*  The Problem with Perenyi Meets the Old William Aiken Walker Scandal

 

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