Sunday, September 10, 2017

Discovered de Kooning in New Mexico

This is the craziest story.  In 1985 a Willem de Kooning painting was stolen from the University of Arizona and later found in an antiques store.  The investigation has come to this: it looks like it was robbed by a regular Joe who just wanted to hang it over his fireplace.
It was finally recovered last month, and investigators are focusing on several theories. And one of them is, in its own way, extraordinary: They are trying to determine if the heist was engineered by a retired New York City schoolteacher — something of a renaissance man — who donned women’s clothing and took his son along as his accomplice, and then hung the masterwork in the bedroom of his own rural New Mexico home, where it remained.

In other words, they are examining whether he stole a painting now valued at in excess of $100 million simply so he could enjoy it.
This reminds me of another nutty art story where a friend of Norman Rockwell was afraid he would lose his original painting in a divorce, so he painted a copy and hid the original.  

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