Long before Donald Trump’s biographer heard him talk incessantly about fake news, he listened to Trump boast about his fake Renoir. Now the Art Institute of Chicago is speaking up to say that French painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s “Two Sisters” hangs in the museum — and not in the president’s home in Trump Tower.
Art Institute spokeswoman Amanda Hicks told the Chicago Tribune that the museum is “satisfied that our version is real.”
The story of the fake Renoir surfaced last week in a Vanity Fair “Inside the Hive” podcast featuring Trump biographer Tim O’Brien. He wrote TrumpNation: The Art of Being Donald Trump. (O’Brien is also a former HuffPost executive editor.)
Trump boasted to O’Brien while the author was interviewing him on his jet years ago about his “original” Renoir, hanging on a wall in the aircraft.
“Donald, it’s not,” O’Brien recalled on the podcast. “I grew up in Chicago. That Renoir is called “Two Sisters (on the Terrace)” and it’s hanging on a wall at the Art Institute of Chicago.”
O’Brien thought he had set Trump straight, but Trump continued to insist the Renoir was real — even almost immediately again to his biographer. It can be seen on the wall behind him in Trump’s interview just last year with “60 Minutes” after he won the presidential election. It was also hanging in Trump Tower during a Fox News interview with first lady Melania Trump.
“He believes his own lies in a way that lasts for decades,” O’Brien explained. “He’ll tell the same stories time and time again, regardless of whether or not facts are right in front of his face.”
The White House isn’t talking.
Who is? Besides the Art Institute and O’Brien, Twitter has plenty to say.
The Art Institute has owned the painting since 1933. It was bequeathed to the museum by Annie Coburn, who purchased it for $100,000 1925 from an art dealer who bought it from the artist in 1881.