Swift’s Packing House Makes a Fast Recovery

On October 21, 2009, Swift’s Packing House, a painting from the Works Progress Administration (WPA) was received by GSA’s Fine Arts Program Office. The painting will be restored by GSA prior to allocation to a museum in Connecticut. The painting is valued at approximately $800.00 and maintains significant historical value.

On April 7, 2009 GSA OIG’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Office received information regarding an eBay auction of a possible WPA painting from an art collector who had previously provided information leading to recovery of WPA artwork through proactive investigation. The eBay listing contained photographs of a clearly legible WPA label.

After verifying that the painting was a WPA piece, GSA investigators obtained the possessor’s information from eBay. The possessor was advised of the Government’s ownership of the painting, and surrendered the painting to the Lyman Allyn Art Museum in New London, CT. GSA OIG coordinated with the Museum and the Fine Arts Program Office for the painting’s return to the Government.