Monday, March 05, 2007

Officer, I Have Never Seen That Painting Before

A stolen Norman Rockwell painting has been hanging on Steven Spielberg's wall for the past 18 years. Steven never knew it was stolen but someone on his staff saw the painting on a list of stolen artworks. What kind of staff person spends their work hours comparing works of art at the house of his boss to a website run by the FBI listing all stolen works of art. Interesting way to spend your day.


JeeezeLouise said...

Yeah, I thought that bit of the story odd, too. But I wonder if Spielberg simply has someone checking provenance on his collection in light of recent international efforts to identify and repatriate Nazi loot?

JeeezeLouise said...

P.S. I did note, in the story, that it was an expert from the Huntington Library, my favorite local art museum, that identified the piece. The Huntington voluntarily examined all works in their collection several years ago for provenance and removed a number that they suspected to have been Nazi loot.

If you've never been to the Huntington, EL, it's a short drive and well worth seeing :)

Anonymous said...

The FBI Art Theft program is fairly new, only a couple of years I think. The Art Loss Register (which occasionally works w/ FBI) is international since the early 90's and is the database that the experts work with and the FBI as well. "Due diligence" by insurers or a collection curator would be a reason this was found.

Anonymous said...

i second jeeze..
huntington gardens and museum are spectacular. i grew up just a stone's throw away, and my husband's godmother worked there (she was an art history prof)
many, many years. said...

Art theft is big money. Stolen paintings make it into legit private collections all the time.

JeeezeLouise said...


I also love the Timken Museum in Balboa Park. It is incredibly small and quite easy to overlook, among all the great San Diego museums in the park. But what I love about it, is that it is so very small so it only has room for very important pieces.

You must have a look ;)

schneefloeckli said...

They didn't necessarily find it because they went looking for it. I think if you walk past a picture or some piece of art every day, it'd be weird not to recognize it when you stumble upon it somewhere else, for example a list of stolen pictures.


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