Art: Rooted At Last

Van Gogh's Irises, 1889, known to the trade as the Curse of the Outback, has found its permanent home in the Getty Museum in Malibu, Calif., which bought it for an undisclosed sum last week. Acquired at auction in November 1987 for $53.9 million by the Australian conglomerator and promoter Alan Bond, Irises was the most expensive work of art ever sold. Its price created an artificial euphoria that bulled the world art market and helped save it from the October ( '87 Wall Street crash. The name of the underbidder was never revealed, raising suggestions -- indignantly denied by the...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!