Art Institute of Chicago officials couldn't find a Georgia O'Keeffe painting it had been asked in 1970 to loan for an exhibit. They still can't find it, and now embarrassed museum officials admit that "East River from the Shelton" is lost.
"Frankly, the reclassification of the painting as lost from the museum is long overdue," said art institute director James Woods. "We are acknowledging that unfortunate fact now that we have failed to find it during a recently completed inventory of the museum's 20th-Century paintings and sculpture collection."
The 12-by-36-inch oil painting, completed in 1926 when O'Keeffe lived in New York with her husband, photographer Alfred Stieglitz, is worth between $250,000 and $500,000, the institute said.
It depicts the view of the East River from the couple's rooms in the Shelton Hotel.
O'Keeffe died in 1986.
The painting was apparently last accounted for in 1966 when it was returned from an exhibit in Houston. It could not be found four years later when requested for exhibit by a New York City museum, the institute said.