Which aisle has the Rembrandts?

Oct. 5, 2012 at 7:14 PM
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ISSAQUAH, Wash., Oct. 5 (UPI) -- Discount U.S. retail giant Costco said it was taking a second shot at selling original works from international stars of the art world.

The New York Times reported Friday Costco, known for discount prices on household items, was now offering artwork from the likes of Andy Warhol, Henri Matisse and Georges Rouault.

Recent works sold include a print by pop artist Warhol that sold for $1,450, the Times said.

Costco is not the first national retailer to try its hand as an art dealer. Sears once listed works by Picasso, Rembrandt and Chagall in its catalog.

It was possible between 1962 and 1971 for customers to buy an original work by Rembrandt and put it on layaway, a program that allowed customers to pay $5 up front and pay the remainder at a pace of $5 per month.

Costco sold original artwork, but then backed out of the business in 2006 after a daughter of Pablo Picasso, Maya Widmaier-Picasso, challenged the authenticity of several drawings.

The discounter had a price tag of $146,000 on one of its drawings that Widmaier-Picasso had challenged.

This time around, most of the artwork at Costco is unsigned, a strategy that avoids the question of whether a signature is forged, the Times said.

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