- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Picassos to stay put

Two famed early works by Pablo Picasso will stay in New York City museums after the institutions reached an out-of-court settlement over a lawsuit that claimed the previous owner had been forced by the Nazis to sell his artworks in the 1930s.

The settlement was announced in Manhattan federal court on Monday as the case was about to go to trial. Details of the settlement were not released, Associated Press reports.

The museums had denied that the paintings were obtained under Nazi duress.

The family of a Jewish banker sued the Museum of Modern Art and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation for the paintings, Picasso’s “Boy Leading a Horse,” owned by MoMA, and the Guggenheim’s “Le Moulin de la Galette.”

U.S. District Judge Jed S. Rakoff concluded last week that the family of Paul von Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, who died in 1935, had produced enough evidence for the case to go to trial.

Mr. Picasso was born in 1881 and lived until 1973.

Closing the gap?

We had a chance encounter Sunday with Bob Fisher, a member of the Gap Inc. board of directors and son of Gap founder Don Fisher, at the casual clothing chain’s store in Chevy Chase.

We couldn’t resist asking the former chief executive - on his way to sister store Banana Republic next door - how he felt about being snubbed by the Obamas in favor of Gap rival J. Crew.

Dressed in the Gap uniform of low-slung jeans and black turtleneck, Mr. Fisher told The Washington Times, “We will be doing some brighter colors this spring. We hope our clothes appeal to everyone, not just the first family.” (Readers will recall that first lady Michelle Obama wore bright green J. Crew gloves, and first daughters Malia and Sasha wore cheerfully hued J. Crew custom-made coats on Inauguration Day. The resulting demand for the items crashed the retailer’s Web site.)

Brighter days can’t arrive soon enough for the Gap. The first lady wore a J. Crew coat to lunch Friday with Jill Biden, District Mayor Adrian M. Fenty and his wife, Michelle, at the soul-food and Southern-style eatery Georgia Brown’s.

Badu blogs about baby

Erykah Badu gave birth to a baby girl this weekend - and twittered about the experience.

Universal Motown Records Group, the singer’s record label, says the baby was born Sunday and both mother and daughter “are doing fine.” The father is Miss Badu’s boyfriend, rapper Jay Electronica.

The couple blogged about the birth on the Twitter Web site, AP said. Miss Badu said she had a home birth that lasted about five hours and that she didn’t use painkillers.

The singer-songwriter, whose real name is Erica Wright, has a son and a daughter from previous relationships.

She released her fourth studio album, “New Amerykah, Part One (4th World War),” last year. “Part Two” will be released this month.

Collins busted for DUI

Former TV host Gary Collins was arrested Saturday night for DUI, People.com reports. He has since posted bail and has been released. No details were immediately available.

In January 2008, Mr. Collins, 70, served four days in a Glendale, Calif. jail for what at the time was his second DUI conviction.

He is serving four years’ probation from that case, stemming from an accident in Los Angeles in October 2007 in which Mr. Collins was struck by another driver, who later died from his injuries. The former “Hour Magazine” and “Home Show” host was not found responsible for the other driver’s death.

A representative for Mr. Collins wasn’t immediately available for comment, People.com reports.

• Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse and Stephanie Green from staff, Web and wire reports

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