Two more paintings by famed St. Thomas painter Camille Pissarro have come to light in the bankruptcy trials of Jeffrey Prosser, the former owner and CEO of Innovative Telephone.
Born in Charlotte Amalie, Pissarro was perhaps the most famous painter to have lived in St. Thomas. Other Pissarro works once in Prosser’s possession have been sold to help pay his and his former corporations’ debts.
The two newly noticed paintings had been lent by Prosser to the Jewish Museum of New York some time in the past. The works showed up in the court records on Jan. 6 when the court-appointed Chapter 11 trustee, Stan Springel, asked the court for permission to enter into an agreement with the museum to insure the two paintings.
Springel’s brief said that one of the paintings was worth $800,000, and the other had been valued at $205,302. The more valuable of the two is called "Une Crique á Saint Thomas, Antilles (a/k/a Inlet and Sailboat)," and the other is "Paysage des Antilles: St. Thomas (a/k/a Figures by a Country Road)." Both were painted around 1856.
There is an ongoing dispute among Springel, Chapter 7 trustee James P. Carroll, and Prosser’s wife, Dawn Prosser, as to who owns the paintings. Dawn Prosser contends the two Pissarros are her personal property—given to her by her husband as a gift—and thus not subject to the bankruptcy proceedings.
Until this is settled the paintings will stay at the museum.
It is expected the judge will approve Springel’s motion to fund the $1,809.54 for the needed insurance.