This episode of the television series Smithsonian World tells a colorful tale of intrigue, serendipity, and the workings of the competitive art world. It is the story of the discovery of the Vever Collection and its eventual acquisition by the museum’s Arthur M. Sackler Gallery. In the early twentieth century, Vever, a celebrated Parisian jeweler and connoisseur, acquired some five hundred Persian and Indian paintings, manuscripts, and leather book bindings, including some of the most treasured works in all of Islamic art. But the collection disappeared from sight half a century ago. In The Vever Affair, the collector's grandchildren and other key players, including international art dealers and leading scholars of Islamic art, tell the story of the disappearance and reappearance of the fabled collection and recall the remarkable man who assembled it.
(Dir.: Suzanne Bauman, United States, 1989, 60 min., English)
Photo: Courtesy of the Smithsonian Channel.