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Pittsburgh Bets A Renoir On Super Bowl Victory

Among the stranger bets being waged on Super Bowl Sunday is whether Fergie will wear shorts during the halftime show. Another bets on the color of the winner's Gatorade dump.

Those bets aren't strictly legal in most states, but there's nothing to stop a few hometown art museums from making a friendly wager.

The Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh has bet a Renoir that the Steelers will win Sunday. The Milwaukee Museum of Art took that bet — and put up a rare Caillebotte in return.

"Our docents were extremely upset," Milwaukee Museum of Art Director Daniel Keegan tells NPR's Linda Wertheimer. "They said, 'How could you possibly think of giving up the Caillebotte?' I said, 'That's the point — we have no intention of giving it up.'"

Should the Steelers lose to the Packers, Milwaukee's prize will be one of Pierre Auguste Renoir's paintings of bathers. Lynn Zelevansky, director of the Carnegie Art Museum, describes Bathers With Crab as "a late Renoir, which is the Renoir that everybody loves — all those lovely pink maidens."

Should the Packers lose, however, the Carnegie Museum gets Gustave Caillebotte's Boating on the Yerres. Either way, the winning city will keep the borrowed painting for just a few months before returning it to the loser. Until then, Keegan says, "We're going to have a great painting from a great museum in Milwaukee."

"We feel exactly the same way," Zelevansky says. "We have a very strong Impressionist and Post-Impressionist collection — but we don't have Caillebotte. I'm looking forward to bringing Caillebotte to the museum." Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit

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