Alberto GIACOMETTI (1901 - 1966) - Sculptor and painter. Signed autograph letter addressed to the American collector G.
To a dissatisfied collector who is upset about the emergence of a second copy of his unique artwork. "Forgive me for not responding more quickly to your letter, but I wanted to know what it was about regarding the sculpture before writing to you.The day before my departure from Paris, I saw Rubin's copy at Foinet. This copy was melted at the same time as yours by Pierre Loeb, but I did not know that there were two of them, they are neither numbered nor signed. So, in good faith, I told you that your copy was unique. I numbered Rubin's copy 2/2, so yours is 1/2. I am very sorry about all this, but it is in no way my fault, and if you do not want to keep your copy, I will buy it back from you whenever you want. You reproach me for my behavior towards you. The large abstract sculpture has been with the foundry for months, I insisted that they make it quickly, but everything is progressing slowly and not always as I want despite everything I say, and I cannot go and cast it myself. I did not promise you the sculpture by a fixed date, I told you that I would send it to you as soon as it was finished, and I did not take the money, it is still with Foinet. I do not think I deserve your reproaches. You are the only person to whom I have sold and given sculptures and paintings in 1958 and 1957, apart from my dealers, and I did it out of friendship for you and for your collection, which brings me great joy, and for which I am very grateful. Now, I hear everywhere that you want to sell your collection or that you have already sold it, which is a great surprise to me, and I do not know what to believe. Are you coming to Paris this spring or summer?
I would be very happy to see you again. I am returning to Paris at the beginning of April.
After the refusal in 1959 by the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh to host the 600 artworks that made up his collection in a gallery bearing his name, he decided to sell off a large part of them, including 88 works by Paul Klee and 70 by Alberto Giacometti. The latter were sold to the Swiss dealer Ernst Beyeler, and then distributed among three museums: the one in Zurich and those in Basel and Winterhour.
A few months after his death, 113 paintings and sculptures from the Thompson collection were dispersed at auction, including 7 Picassos, 8 Mirós, 4 Légers, 4 Matisses, etc. At the time, the collection was described as "undoubtedly the most important art collection of the 20th century ever offered at auction at any given moment".
He is also the grandfather of the singer Caroline Loeb. Tiny crack in the upper margin of the first leaf, see photos.