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The much talked about Greenpoint Expo Center will open its doors this September when it hosts the first ever Brooklyn Antiques and Book Fair.

Over 100 exhibitors from across the country will make their way to the huge glass structure on Franklin Street to sell fine antiques, vintage books, posters, and a vast variety of prints.

The event is being put together by Marvin Getman, the founder of Impact Events Group, best known for the antiques and vintage book fairs it organizes throughout the northeastern part of the country.

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Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901) was born into a family of French aristocrats, but he had no interest in high society. He immersed himself instead in Parisian night life, becoming the great artistic chronicler of cafe concerts and dance halls. His work is now the subject of an exhibit beginning July 26 at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

"The Paris of Toulouse-Lautrec: Prints and Posters" features more than 100 of his works. His subjects include a range of characters who fell well short of respectability: performers and spectators at the Moulin Rouge, cancan dancers on stage and prostitutes reclining in bed.

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The art collection once belonging to the infamous Ponzi-schemer, Bernie Madoff, will be sold at Sotheby’s New York and Stair Galleries in Hudson, NY at the end of this year. The 61 works have an insured value in excess of $575,000. Securities Investor Protection Corporation trustee, Irving Picard, and the U.S. bankruptcy court are liquidating the assets, which include posters, rugs and fine art. Sotheby’s will be responsible for selling a large portion of the works and Stair Galleries will sell the remainder including posters, carpets and decorative items. The collection has been stored at Cirkers Fine Art Storage & Logistics in Manhattan since 2009.

While the majority of the lot is lackluster, there are a few important works including a lithograph by Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) illustrating a black bull, six bull lithographs by Roy Lichtenstein (1923-1997) and a small drawing of a woman’s head by Henri Matisse (1869-1954). There are also a number of works on paper by important postwar artists such as Jasper Johns (b. 1930), Andy Warhol (1928-1987), Frank Stella (b. 1936), Cy Twombly (1928-2011) and Ellsworth Kelly (b 1933). The sale will also include a pair of oriental rugs that once decorated Madoff’s offices in Manhattan and Queens.

Picard has been working to liquidate Madoff’s assets since the disgraced financier’s arrest in 2008. To date, he has collected about $9.3 billion to compensate the people and companies that Madoff defrauded. Picard has overseen the sales of three powerboats, various cars, jewelry, pianos and Madoff’s wine collection.

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State Farm Insurance is suing French art dealer Alfred DeSimone for either discarding or losing an original lithograph by the colorful French artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901). The lost work, Artistide Bruant Dans Son Cabaret, 1893, was part of a series of three posters used to promote French cabaret singer and comedian Artistide Bruant (1851-1925) around Paris in the late 1800s. The lithograph remains one of Toulouse-Lautrec’s most recognizable images.

State Farm is seeking $103,000 in damages from DeSimone for the centuries-old lithograph, which was bought by the insurance company’s client, Thomas Rosensteel, in 2006. Rosensteel purchased the work as an investment, but never ended up hanging it. While looking for a buyer, Rosensteel gave the lithograph to DeSimone for safekeeping, agreeing to pay him a fee once the work was sold. Rosentsteel found a buyer in 2010 and when he went to pick up the work from DeSimone, it was missing. DeSimone claims that the lithograph may have been put in a mailing tube and either sent to someone else or discarded. Rosensteel filed an insurance claim with State Farm who paid $103,109 to him; the company is now seeking compensation for the claim.

DeSimone, who has been experiencing financial troubles, has not been charged with any criminal wrongdoing in the Toulouse-Lautrec case. A judge will review the lawsuit on April 25, 2013.

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This past March, the highest court in Germany for civil affairs ordered that 4,300 pre-World War II posters looted by Nazis were to be returned to Peter Sachs, a retired airline pilot. Sachs is the son of Hans Sachs, a Jewish dentist who fled Germany in 1938 after being arrested by Nazis and sentenced to the Saschsenhausen concentration camp.

The poster collection, worth more than $5.8 million, was previously kept at The Deutsches Historisches Museum in Berlin. Sachs started his collection in the late 19th century at a young age and went on to publish a poster magazine called Das Plakat, found a society, and give lectures on the subject. Unique works by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Ludwig Hohlwein, Lucian Bernhard, and Jules Cheret are included in the collection.

At the time of its confiscation, Sachs’ collection was the largest of its kind. When the Gestapo seized the posters in 1938, Sachs was told that Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels wanted the works for a new museum wing dedicated to “business” art. Sachs’ collection included advertisements for travel destinations and various products as well as propaganda and political posters.

When Sachs arrived in the U.S. with his wife and young son, he assumed that he would never see his collection again. In 1961 he accepted about $50,000 from the West German government, figuring the works had not survived the war. In 1966 when Sachs learned that some of his collection was still intact in East Berlin, he made contact with communist authorities in an attempt to get the posters loaned for exhibitions. He never succeeded.

After Sachs’ death, his son Peter fought a five-year legal battle for the return of his father’s posters after a government panel denied his claim in 2007. The court ultimately ruled that Sachs had never lost legal ownership of the post collection and that Peter, Sachs’ heir, had the right to possession.

Guernsey’s auction house will handle the collections’ sale in three intervals. The first auction is scheduled for January 18, 2013 and the second and third series will take place at six-month intervals. Guernsey’s hopes to find a single buyer for the collection and has been in talks with museums in Germany, Israel, and the U.S.  

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