Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Thursday 13 - #17!

Recently I read a book called "Museum of the Missing" by Simon Houpt. It discussed the history of art theft. Yup, very interesting and so I thought I'd showcase 13 pieces that have been reported as stolen and are still missing.


Henri Matisse - Luxembourg Gardens
Missing since February 24, 2006
Chacara do Ceu Museum, Rio de Janerio, Brazel
Est. current value: unknown


Henry Moore - Reclining Figure
Missing since December 15, 2005
Henry Moore Foundation, Much Hadham, Herfordshire, England
Est. current value: $5.2 million
This sculpture is 11 foot in length and weight 2 tons. Thieves were seen on closed circuit tv, driving up in a Mini Cooper [oh good lord] and a stolen flatbed truck fitted with a crane. The fear is that it's been melted down by a scrap metal dealer.


Unknown - The Lion of Nimrud
Missing since April 2003
Iraq National Museum, Baghdad, Iraq
Est. current value: priceless
One of 14,000 objects looted immediately following the US invasion of Baghdad. To date, about 5000 pieces have been located.


Vincent Van Gogh - View of the Sea at Scheveningen
Missing since December 7, 2002
Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Est. current value: $30 million [with aother piece "Congregation Leaving the Reformed Church in Nuenen" stolen at the same time]
Van Gogh painted this in situ during stormy weather near the Hague and bits of sand remain in paint.


Maxfield Parrish - Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney Mansion Murals [Panels 3a and 3b]
Missing since July 28, 2002
Edenhurst Gallery, West Hollywood, California
Est. current value: $2 million each


Howard Pyle - The Battle of Bunker Hill
Missing since August 2001
Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington, Delaware
Est. current value: $250,000
This is one of the more upsetting scenarios here. In August 2001, the museum was planning to show this piece and found it missing. Staff thought this piece [a part of the permanent collection] was being store in the basement. They are not entirely sure when it was taken.


Claude Monet - Beach in Pourville
Missing since September 19, 2000
Polish National Museum, Poznan, Poland
Est. current value: $7 million
Thieves cut the painting from the frame and replaced it with a badly printed copy on cardboard. They are not sure when the piece was stolen, they reported it once they noticed the forgery.


Thomas Sully - Portrait of Frances Keeling Valntine Allan
Missing since February 2000
Valentine Museum, Richmond, Virginia
Est. current value: unknown
This is Edgar Allan Poe's stepmother.


Jean-Baptiste Oudry - The White Duck
Missing since September 30, 1992
Houghton Hall, Norfolk, England
Est. current value: $8.8 million


Rembrandt - Storm on the Sea of Galilee
Missing since March 18, 1990
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston, Massachusetts
Est. current value: priceless
The world is missing out on not being able to view the only surviving seascape by this artist.


Johannes Vermeer - The Concert
Missing since March 18, 1990
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston, Massachusetts
Est. current value: priceless
After the theft of 11 paintings seventeen years ago, the museum keeps the empty frames on the wall. Very sad.


Lucian Freud - Portrait of Francis Bacon
Missing since May 27, 1988
Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin, Germany
Est. current value: $1.5 million


Andrew Wyeth - Moon Madness
Missing since mid-1980's
Private Owner in the Philippines
Est. current value: $3 million
Disturbing because it's not an institution or business involved, but a person. In the 1980's Wyeth's office tried without success to make contact with the private collector/owner in order to include it in the artist's catalog. The office communicated through a lawyer and no contact was made, although there was a great deal of political upheaval at the time. The paintings whereabouts reamains unknown.

Sometimes the artwork is stolen to order, other times to trade for drugs, one time it was a fan who couldn't help himself [over 200 pieces taken] - unfortunately his mother threw them in the river to hide his crime [grrr!], and other times the thefts were undertaken in a bid to take a cultural statement away from a nation.

What piece of art would you feel heart broken to never see because it was stolen?

And, don't forget to check out my challenge to blog for a here, comment and maybe win!


Darla said...

Oh, this is fascinting! And timely--I recently read a book in which the heroine's job was recovering stolen artworks--by whatever means necessary. (Sight Unseen by Samantha Graves)

Mom not Mum (Sandy) said...

This was a really interesting TT - I learned a lot!

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Notice how many of those paintings (and the sculpture) were stolen in recent times? What does that say about our times? (or did you only include the recent ones?)

I love the mental image of lugging a 2-ton sculpture away in a Mini Cooper. That's just precious!

Addicted to crafting said...

That's a cool TT topic!!! :)

Carolan Ivey said...

Tough question... anything by Monet or Van Gogh.

Loved the TT - but I couldn't see the graphics for some reason...

Denise McDonald said...

Very cool!

Anonymous said...

Interesting lists! Happy TT!

Lori said...

Wow...great investigative reporting. Happy TT:)

Denise Patrick said...

Fascinating list! I learned something today - and it was not necessarily nice. It's so sad that people can't leave things alone for other people to enjoy.

Happy TT!

Anonymous said...

This is a fascinating TT. I may go get that book. Thanks for visiting!

Mechele Armstrong said...

How interesting. The Poe one isn't showing but I'm going to have to check into that. That's in my part of town!

Mechele aka Lany of Melany Logen

impwork said...

You'd not think stealing 2 ton sculptures would be a common thing but there was a spate of it a couple of years ago. Sometimes it's just parts that go missing - Robin Hood's arrow has been stolen from his statue in Nottingham so often they have a supply of them cast in storage. I saw an appeal the other day for the arms of a sculpture to be returned because the moulds were destroyed after it was cast and so they can't make new ones.

Unknown said...

Okay, 2 just shocked me. Who gets the idea to steal a two ton statue?!!!

Anonymous said...

Wow, there are tons of painting I would really miss. Starry Night by Van Gough is right up there at the top of my list.

Tink said...

Dutch paintings are very popular among thieves. I hope all 13 will be found one day... Interesting list!
Thanks for visiting my activities TT.

N.J.Walters said...

Absolutely incredible and very sad.

Rebecca said...

Oh that totally sucks! :-(
My stupid dial-up is too lame to show me your pics - and it's such an interesting topic! 8-\

Oh well... Happy TT13!

Ann said...

I was in London months before that lunatic took a shotgun to the Da Vinci cartoon (sketch used to transfer drawing to wall for a mural). There are some real nutjobs out there. Happy TT.

Sparky Duck said...

water lillies by Monet. I love Monet.

How would the Thomas Crown Affair fit into this little TT ya think?