Park West Foundation and the American Liver Foundation (ALF)

By: Albert Scaglione

My wife Mitsie and I founded the not-for-profit Park West Foundation in 2006, as a way of giving back to the community and assisting those who are less fortunate. In particular, our foundation focuses on young women in foster care who need job training, housing, education, and child care, once they leave the state-financed support system. The Park West Foundation also supports worthy causes such as the Cornerstone Schools in Detroit, Michigan, and the American Liver Foundation (ALF).

Founded in 1976 as an outgrowth of the American Association for the Study of Liver Disease (AASLD), ALF is dedicated to improving the lives of those afflicted by all forms of liver disease. Researching cures is an integral part of ALF’s mission, and it partners with AASLD as the largest combined provider of liver research grants after the U.S. Government. Since 1979, Research Awards Program has administered some $23 million in grants, funding critical research undertaken by more than 750 physicians dedicated to pursuing careers in liver science. The 2010 grants, totaling nearly $1 million, supported advanced research into hepatitis C, acute liver failure, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, liver cancer, and many other serious conditions.

ALF seeks to raise liver disease awareness, providing free liver disease screenings for at-risk populations, vaccinations, and educational seminars. ALF even operates a toll-free help line at 1-800-GO-LIVER. Advocacy is another important aspect of ALF’s mission, and the organization is often called to testify before the U.S. Congress and state legislatures on issues related to liver disease. In particular, ALF advocates legislation to support increased organ donations. ALF also supports increased needle-exchange programs to decrease the transmission of HIV and hepatitis.

I recommend visiting the American Liver Foundation website at, and learning how you can contribute. There are also details about requesting a Uniform Donor Card and becoming an organ donor after you have passed on. Another way to contribute is through support of the Park West Foundation, on the Web at


Pablo Picasso’s Suite Vollard

By: Albert Scaglione

I began collecting Picasso works in the 1960s, and in the 1970s I was lucky enough to spend time with Parisian art dealer Henri Petiet, who purchased Picasso’s Suite Vollard and paid the artist to sign his significant pieces over time. As I learned more about the artist’s unique relationship with Petiet, I began to develop a passion for Picasso’s art. The time I spent with Petiet also launched my fascination for Picasso’s most notable graphic achievement, The Suite Vollard.

The Suite Vollard originated in 1933 when Picasso asked French art dealer Ambroise Vollard if he could purchase two paintings from his private collection. Instead of selling the works to Picasso, however, Vollard suggested a trade: 100 copperplates that included three portraits of Vollard in exchange for a Renoir and a Cezanne. Picasso chose significant works that he felt Vollard would enjoy to create the copperplate collection. Suite Vollard is unique in that it demonstrates Picasso’s exploration of classical mythology and features creatures such as the Minotaur, with whom Picasso deeply identified as an artist.

Other themes featured in Suite Vollard include the battle of love, the artist and etching master, Rembrandt, the sculptor’s studio, and the aforementioned portraits of Vollard. There are only 313 examples of each work of Suite Vollard in existence, and Musee Picasso owns the canceled copperplates. Hand-signed Suite Vollard prints remain rare and highly sought-after. Vollard and Picasso’s agreement did not include signatures on the prints. They were signed later as in the example of Petiet.