My name is Susan Tobash, the Manager of Customer Service of the Princess Cruises Art Department, which started shortly before my arrival in 2000. It was not long after that time the Company brought in Jerry Bengis, based on his reputation of integrity and depth of knowledge in the art business. Jerry completed our insurance appraisals on the artwork sold on our ships.
From the beginning it was clearly understood by Jerry that all of our artwork was sold with a lifelong guarantee, art could be returned at any time for any reason by our customers. Jerry agreed to do the appraisals even though with our thousands of artists and artwork he could not possibly view many of them.
During the course of many years working with Jerry I gained tremendous knowledge of the art world, as he spent much time with me explaining and elevating my own knowledge of the art world. I considered Jerry my mentor.
The Program called for my department to prepare the appraisals, and Jerry would examine each thouroughly to ensure the prices were within reason.
Jerry never sold us anything except Salvador Dali graphics, where he is a reknown expert on his works. We never had one return on any of the Dali works sold to us by Jerry.
Jerry was invited to go on several of our cruises as a guest lecturer and our customers loved him and we sold a lot of artwork. During these cruises many Picasso works were sold which turned out to be incorrect. Unfortunately Jerry seemed to get caught in the middle of this, even though the only works he authenicated for us were those by Dali.
The outcome was good for our customers as we gave them them a full refund as well as additional compensation as a show of our goodwill, and in most cases they kept the artwork. Jerry Bengis had absolutely nothing to do with these pieces.
Shortly after this time I became ill and was not able to return to work. I understand during this time Jerry had some issues which were certainly never his fault, he was always completely honest with our Company. Jerry was very well liked and respected by our entire Team from the VP of the Art Program on down. We all enjoyed working with him and learning from him.
I would like to make this excellent commendation to Jerry after having known and worked with him for many years.