Fine Art/Picasso


gpolito wrote at 2008-06-25 23:27:37
I have what seems to be the same image as well.Mine is framed very nicely and on the back is an old printed store tag with the red typed info stating... Artist.Picasso..... Title. White Clown...Medium.Gouache....

 I too have been perplexed by this,I have seen a couple others that look similar( exactly the same clown figure but slightly different application of paint, kind of hard to explain) and a gallery in Zurich actually had the same one on their website for sale a few years ago but we had a language problem and our discourse was difficult at best plus they didn't understand what I was driving at and kept trying to sell me the one they had for 20 grand.. Anyway,what they said in the description was that this was a litho done in a series of about 250 for a show that Picasso had back in the late thirties, right before the war, in Zurich at his agents gallery and he did a quick and broadstroked watercolor(gouache) over each one at the time of the sale and signed them at the top. SO they are all basically the same exact clown figure but the green background and the black highlights are all a little different since that is what he applied by hand.On my picture the paper was mounted on masonite and a gallery here dated that from the correct time period.the paper is very thin and sort of an amber color and does show through in various spots ,mostly around the edges where he worked the green very quickly.In fact all the color looks to have been applied very fast and On the one that I saw for sale there was a few strokes of blue although mine doesn't have any blue,just the green backround,white highlights all over the figure and black details(hoops,ect) with the red lips.Although mine does have a store tag on it the store has been closed for over sixty years so I have no way of checking with them,however, here in Chicago I recall that our top shelf,Marshall Fields, used to sell lots of original and famous(and very expensive) artworks in their "Fine Art and Prints" dept. so I don't find it strange at all that a Picasso hand colored litho,however obscure, would have been sold in a dept stores' "fine art and  prints" dept.

Michael Highfill wrote at 2010-03-22 20:52:54
Oh what a tangled picass has woven on this work.  Here is yet another owner of the "White Clown" with those subtle differences that in my opinion make the work ever so much more intreging.

As far as the worth, for myself, it is priceless.  I have concluded that I am at least the fourth "White Clown" in the United States which is quite a remarkable number to have made such a journey.

As most owners of the workfeel, I am very open to any further explination of it's origin.  And welcome any additional information and/or dialogue with other "White Clown" owners.

carrie fuquay wrote at 2010-08-10 02:58:27
I also have the white clown, my mother bought this in 1972 at an estate sale. At the time she lived in Falls Church, Va. and worked in D.C. I would like to get this authenticated! But it seems to be a big mystery.

Brad Dennis wrote at 2011-06-01 19:39:41
I also have one. I have looked at many on Ebay and compared all of them to mine and it seems they all do have slight differences in signatures, shading and outline. As well as facial features. My mom's mom bought it I am assuming in the late 60's early 70's and lived in Vienna Virginia. I wonder if the estate sale owner and my grandmother got them from the same place? Falls Church and Vienna are minutes away. Hopefully the mystery of it all will add to the value and lead to having them all authenticated.

bevbuffalo wrote at 2011-09-08 16:55:55
I also own a Picasso "White Clown".  I acquired it in San Francisco in '67.  It was left behind by the previous renter of my apartment, and I have always loved it.  I have carried it with me ever since, and am very happy to finally get some information on it.  I never thought it was the original, but also never realized it had such debate on its authenticity.  So happy to have found this and the other sites.

Jackie wrote at 2011-10-30 21:32:41
I purchased a carport full of misc stuff at an estate sale in 2007.  In this guys stuff he had the clown in white and signed by Picasso (supposedly) and another painting made with the same kind of paint, but the paper is lighter in color than the clown.  This painting is not signed, but has a totally rered background with a horse and nude lady sitting sideways on it. The horse and lady are all in black.  There seems to be a number  of 955 or even could be 1955. There is also a MAR that I am able to see and seems to have something else written past the MAR, but I cannot make it out. I will be taking these two articles to the Antiques roadshow 2012 and will let all of you know what I find out.  

Tracie wrote at 2012-05-22 17:52:55
I just pulled out one my dad had.  When he died I think I cleaned it.  He was a heavy smoker.  I thought it wasn't worth anything and I may have removed some of the paint.  I am not doing that again.  I just started researching it and would love to know more.

Claxton Ur wrote at 2013-01-08 10:55:50
There must be many of these prints around because I too have one that came from an estate sale. As mentioned previously, I have looked at several pictures of this print online and not any two are exactly the same. It seems little is known about the White Clown so values vary widely. I hope someone soon investigates this particular painting and provides a report so all of us who own copies of Picasso's White Clown can learn whether we have a valuable piece of art or not.

Teresa wrote at 2013-01-23 17:13:03
I TOO own a "White Clown"!!! I recently inherited from my Mother's estate. She got it at an estate sale here in Wash. state years ago & always wondered if it was "real". I started researching it yesterday. Mine is in perfect condition, has been framed and under glass for obviously a VERY long time. There is a sticker on the back from the framer from Richmond,VA. Kind of excited to learn more about the MYSTERY Picasso!!!

Kk wrote at 2013-02-09 04:25:28
I purchased the same small  periot or white clown today at an estate sale in ventura california ..  The previous owner I was told was in hislate 80's.  it was rolled in a old piece of brown paper.  He seems to be in very good condition.  I think its funny that so many are resurfacing through estate sale.  I wonder why the old owner never had it framed to enjoy.  I think it is an image of a marionette rather then a clown.  Its very exciting to read about all the speculations.  

Dale Pape wrote at 2013-04-06 13:30:25
I have a white clown that is signed in three places on the front upper left and on his hat and on the back with a ID # starting with WC meaning water color and a log appears to have been created in the early 20th century. I never seen any other painting with Picasso's signature in three places the one on the back is in pencil

It gives a certification number and log number.

bob wrote at 2013-07-26 04:17:34

Ashley wrote at 2013-09-28 19:29:56
I just purchased a white clown painting with an old gold frame around it.  Jackie, did you ever go on Antiques Road Show?

Kathy wrote at 2013-10-15 01:56:57
I too have a white clown, got it at a sale at a library.  They got some prints as a donation. I think I got it about 7 or 8 years ago. I too love mine, it does demand your attention.  The first time i saw it i was intrigued by it's paper quality, but had no idea what i may be. Would love to believe I own a real Picasso.

Dale Pape wrote at 2014-02-13 14:33:40
I have a Picasso White Clown on Poster Board I did fins one other which match mine and on the back of that poster it had a label (NYGS) "New York Graphic Society" these were done I believe in the 1950's it is not card board it is poster board.

I believe Picasso had several of these produced and they are very rare to find they are signed in the upper left also in the 1960's Raymond and Raymond of NY produced the same clown on cheap brown paper which matched the posters

Love wins wrote at 2014-02-16 16:06:29
I too have a white clown. It hung behind my grandfathers desk as far back as 1965. It has a purchase tag from Harbour-longmire in Oklahoma City. It was a high end furniture store. Back then it was the only place in okc to purchase fine art as good galleries hadn't made it here.

I accidentally broke the glass in a move which brought me to investigate further. The mat is 'attached' to the piece. And it has been mounted on poster board. I'm afraid to investigate much further on my own. But it's become apparent that it's not just a print.

In the age of technology surely someone will come up with a way to authenticate these paintings.  

Marsha in Orlando wrote at 2014-05-24 22:48:40
Well, here's another one!  Mine was given to me in the late 70's by my cousin. This one has two signatures as well, but the one in the hat is more in the hair with dot over the "i" showing in the white hat! It is in a beautiful wormwood frame but I will not remove the paper in the back because it was framed in a shop on Biscayne Boulevard in Miami.  It was done prior to 1962 because there was no zip code on the framer's stamp.

Donna wrote at 2014-06-07 05:00:03
This is my 4th time to text about the white Clown. I lose my message each time. Her goes..I own one too. Had it about 14 yrs. I will have an apoortunity to take mine to tamu(texas a&m ) to the project Picasso if they are still working on this. Its the Picasso project, meaning the white clown. Mine was acquired form a man who was returning to the states form the European wartime. He had a stop over in Paris. This was inside the tube of a poster that he purchased in a small storefront shop there. He did not know anything about it except that it was signed by Piacasso, It is signed in the hat and in the upper let corner. I am so excited to find all of you who are also owners of this great piece of art by PIcasso. I love mine, even though it is wron from being rolled up. I bought it in an auction for almost $800.00.  It had about 69 bids. I love all your stories. Lets stick together on this.  Its got to get better. We can derive attention and ultimately probably get a higher value on our Piacasso white clowns.Actually, Picasso deserves all the credit afterall. I will be back form time to time. Thanks  

STFO wrote at 2014-08-01 16:04:39
I also have this painting. In the late 60's while traveling thru Tennessee my mama bought an old picture just for the frame. She discovered the picasso behind the picture that was framed. It only has the one signature and has been cut down to fit the frame. She has since passed but always wondered if it was real. We have hung onto it all these years. Now I'm glad we did. Although my mama thought is was ugly, it always hung in our living room.

I love reading all of the stories & hope to find out where it came from.  

Mary D. wrote at 2014-08-11 17:34:42
Well, interesting to see so much about this item. My late grandmother, a collector of sorts, had it in her home. My late mother then had it in her home. It was then passed on to me. I had it reframed, and saw the brown paper when the framer opened the old frame. It hangs in my entry hall. It is worth the world to me b/c of the family history.

jpronto wrote at 2014-10-09 03:23:35
I own the "White Clown". My parents bought it at the L.A. Design Center in 1948' It is on a Masonite/cardboard material  and in good condition. Mine is slightly different than all I've seen. The mystery continues.  

Elizabeth wrote at 2015-01-01 00:44:54
I too have a WHITE CLOWN - purchased in 1990 from an estate sale in Dothan AL of an old antique/arts dealer.  I did take it to Road Show in Tampa - but they blew me off because the woman in front of me had a notebook of letters/autographs from early presidents .....  It too is signed - more vivid in color than some examples and signed in upper lefthand corner - on canvas of considerable age.

Preparing to frame and continue the wait for someone to acknowledge our treasures!

Marsha wrote at 2015-04-18 00:41:23
I too, have a white clown, I bought from a bric-a-brac shop.  It was in the corner under dusty items with no price, but it grabbed my attention.  When I asked about the price, the shop owner, said," Ah, $5.00?" Then, he laughingly added, "Who knows, it might be a Picasso." It was matted and framed by La Belle Gallerie in New Orleans.  Curiosity kept eating away at me, so I tore the back matting off only to find Picasso's signature in the lower right corner. Most people I have shown it to have laughed it off.  I'm thinking that maybe no knowing keeps the intrigue fired up in me!! La Belle Gallerie has since closed after the owners divorced I am told, so I have not been able to get any additional information.

AU1992 wrote at 2015-07-27 01:41:24
I also recently came into possession of a White Clown. An elder family member was cleaning out her late husband's belongings and found the painting. She said that her husband brought it home more than 50 years ago. I too would like to get it appraised but I am unsure of what my next step should be. I would love to know more about it.

tripple wrote at 2015-12-09 05:37:38
I too have a white clown, got it in Houston TX,on sale at a antique store . I think I got it about 1978. I too love mine, it does demand your attention.  The first time i saw it i was intrigued by it's paper quality, but had no idea what i may be. Would love to believe I own a real Picasso. read some where possible Picassos signed another artist work for lunch money  

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Alan Klevit


I can provide sound advice on buying, collecting & understanding fine art, especially original works by 20th century masters and leading contemporary artists. I can also explain techniques used to create original works and offer tips on how to tell whether or not a piece is an original work of art.


I have been active in the art world for twenty-seven years. I owned and operated four galleries and a wholesale showroom on both coasts. We specialized in original works by 20th century masters and emerging artists. I have been an art consultant, artist's representative, lecturer, auctioneer, and curator. I had a radio show for two years, "Today's Art World with Alan Klevit" [Washington, D.C.]; hosted two television shows on the arts for six years [Los Angeles Area]; have written for numerous local papers and international art magazines; and currently write a syndicated column, "The Art Beat." I conduct art auctions for charities throughout the United States, and am a frequent speaker/auctioneer on upscale cruise ships, and at civic organizations and local television shows.


Undergraduate and graduate degrees from Georgetown University and The American University

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