I love a good mystery. And going to college in the Boston's Back Bay neighborhood--I would walk by the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum nestled between high-end brownstones and dirty college buildings. I have always loved museums and art--I would go to the Museum of Fine Art Boston by myself more than a few times a year since high school--but what always intrigued me was the great Gardner Art Theft of 1990--more than a few years before my time but infamous to anyone growing up in the area.
Get At It Catherine Zeta Jones
I always wondered who stole the 13 works of art and why--stolen masterpieces are not something you can hang up for company to see but what is the point of keeping them in a dusty closet or attic? You can't sell them for true value on the open market and most dealers wouldn't want to get dragged into the world of underground forgeries and sales. So what would make someone want to do this?
A Lady and Gentleman in Black by Rembrandt
And the story is so brazen--all it took was a couple of men dressed as cops to pull off one of the most brazen acts in recent art thefts--it feels more like the sequel to "The Thomas Crown Affair" than something that happened in the real world and yet right now--25 years later--the FBI still has an open case and continues to promote the hell out of the story. I mean--there is still a FIVE MILLION dollar award.
The FBI reward and investigation page
It's all so crazy and manic and romantic and I just want to know more. I makes me think of high society hi-jinks, tortured lovers sharing the paintings, families in some small town who dont know their dad's or uncles where thieves and that in the attic sits Degas sketches or a Vermeer that is one of only 36 in existence
The Concert by Vermeer
I mean--it's all so Cary Grant and Renee Russo.
I Mean--Come On--Sexy Art Detective
Sidenote: When "The Simpsons" goes into Burns' house and through his art gallery you can see the Simpsons versions of both these paintings as well as other famous stolen art works--which I never realized until today