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Sat Aug 12, 2017, 01:29 PM

Stolen de Kooning Resurfaces More Than 30 Years Later

Source: New York Times

They knew it was a cool painting. But Buck Burns and David Van Auker hadn’t thought it a masterpiece until visitors to their New Mexico furniture and antiques shop began asking about the work that they had bought as part of an estate.

It turned out it was indeed an important work, a painting by Willem de Kooning stolen 31 years ago from the University of Arizona Museum of Art and lost until Mr. Van Auker positioned it in a public place — lying on the floor of their shop in Silver City.

“Woman-Ochre”— one of a number of Abstract Expressionist paintings that Mr. de Kooning did of women in the 1950s — was stolen on the day after Thanksgiving in 1985. There was no surveillance video, but investigators pieced together a rough narrative of the theft that began with a man and a woman following a staff member into the museum around 9 a.m.

The woman distracted the staff member, while the man cut the painting from its frame with sharp blade. In less than 15 minutes, the two departed with the painting.

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/11/arts/stolen-de-kooning-resurfaces-more-than-30-years-later.html?emc=edit_tnt_20170812&nlid=73531149&tntemail0=y&_r=0



Very cool story!!

8 replies, 2684 views

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Reply Stolen de Kooning Resurfaces More Than 30 Years Later (Original post)
Coventina Aug 12 OP
Stonepounder Aug 12 #1
TexasBushwhacker Aug 12 #2
panader0 Aug 12 #3
keithbvadu2 Aug 12 #4
Coventina Aug 12 #5
Owl Aug 12 #6
Coventina Aug 12 #7
pansypoo53219 Aug 12 #8

Response to Coventina (Original post)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 02:15 PM

1. Love the story, thanks for posting.

The response of the guy who discovered it lying in his shop is just great. "It was a no brainer, it was like finding a lost wallet." These kind of people are the true Americans! (And are the true [insert appropriate religion or non-religion here].)

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Response to Coventina (Original post)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 02:19 PM

2. Very cool indeed!

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Response to Coventina (Original post)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 02:36 PM

3. I read about that in the Az Daily Star today.

The work could be worth well over 100 mil.
Found in a Silver City, NM home after the owner died.

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Response to Coventina (Original post)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 05:29 PM

4. Whose estate and how did it get there? Probably an interesting tale

Whose estate and how did it get there? Probably an interesting tale

Might there be some other artworks in the same stolen category?

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Response to keithbvadu2 (Reply #4)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 05:40 PM

5. Probably questions the police will be looking into, I'd imagine....

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Response to Coventina (Original post)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 06:33 PM

6. Which way do you hang the picture?

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Response to Owl (Reply #6)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 06:35 PM

7. The photograph in the story show the picture on its side.

It's an abstract nude of a woman.

If you look carefully, you'll see it (probably breasts first).

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Response to Coventina (Original post)

Sat Aug 12, 2017, 06:45 PM

8. knowing the history or ART + design helps. helps me at estate sales. i have seen good shit.

i have gotten great stuff. some amatuer good stuff too. i think i would have seen this as de kooning. i even found EXCEPTIONAL paintings. only studies, but the bibestein's are better that way. dirty w/ charcoal dust. even had xeroxes about him. died in 1930. swiss. moved to WI. i bought 8 or nine @ $1.50. sold 1. gifted another. cleaned them. OMG! BLUE! 2 framed. not perfect, but more impressionist. but the $5 smillie etching....knowledge is good. art school graduate w/ art + design history.

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