Collector Vincent Fay, a lawyer who lives on New York’s Upper East Side, filed a suit against Princeton University in U.S. District Court on February 20 after the New Jersey institution allegedly pulled out of a $1 million art sale. According to the initial complaint, Fay claims that Princeton agreed to purchase 17 artworks from him for a total of $945,000, alleging that the institution has failed to pay the second of two $472,500 payments, which was due in July 2018.
The suit alleges that Princeton raised questions about the origins, authenticity, and value of seven works in Fay’s collection and in October demanded that Fay return its initial payment. According to Fay’s complaint, Princeton later said it would back out of the sale.
Fay’s complaint claims that Princeton’s concerns regarding the works were not “documented or supported by any named experts.” The filing goes on to say that, because Fay did not breach the warranty that the institution required at the deal’s outset, Princeton must pay the remainder of the price to the collector.
John Cahill, Fay’s attorney, has not revealed what artworks were part of the deal between Fay and Princeton.
“The art will outlive all of us, and it is good to keep it untainted,” Cahill told the New York Post. “Princeton hasn’t said why the art isn’t authentic.”
Works from Fay’s collection have previously been shown at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Louvre in Paris, and other international venues.
ARTnews has reached out to Princeton for comment.