Eleanor P. DeLorme, a senior lecturer in the Art Department and adjunct curator for the Davis Museum and Cultural Center at Wellesley College, called today with her response to the Leger story. She said she wants the museum to return three works she donated to it years ago. These are a pair of portes-torchères by Georges Jacob (c. 1790), cabinetmaker to the stars (Louis XV1 and Marie-Antoinette), and also a large Chinese scroll painting (c.1600).
“It’s a bad place to give any art objects to, and I want all of them back," said DeLorme.
She's particularly upset that one of the portes-torchères was damaged, though later repaired.
"They had some goon who didn’t know what he was doing move the portes-torcheres and broke the leg off [one]," DeLorme said. "They had been intact since about 1789 and I knew nothing about it until one day I was over in special collections and the students said 'you’d be interested in this, Professor DeLorme, because of this a report I’m doing on one of the pieces.''"
DeLorme, who has taught at Wellesley since 1984, stopped short of calling for Davis director David Mickenberg's resignation. But she did say:
"I don’t think he is the proper person. I know many directors and I have some very good friends at the MET and MOMA and know people in the field and I don’t know of anyone who is really excited about his directorship in any way."
I contacted Mickenberg, Davis Marketing Manager Barbara Levitov, and Wellesley College Director of Communications Arlie Corday. None of them responded.