Fifty-year-old art crime solved by local sleuths, as two portraits stolen in 1972 are returned

In February 1972, a fire raged at the Veterans Foreign Wars building in New Paltz, New York. With emergency services distracted, a robbery occurred at the town’s historic district of Huguenot Street. Dozens of objects were stolen, including a pair of portraits by the prominent itinerant folk artist Ammi Phillips (1788-1865) depicting local residents Dirck D. Wynkoop (1738-1827) and his wife Annatje Erlinge (1748-1827). Exactly fifty years later, the portraits were rediscovered, and were put back on display at the Historic Huguenot Street.

Continue reading

Possible Rembrandt returned forty years after it was stolen in East Germany

In 1979, five paintings were stolen from Schloss Friedenstein in Gotha, Germany. The works did not re-emerge for 40 years, and the event became communist East Germany’s biggest ever art heist. In 2019, however, the paintings were returned to Friedenstein, and new scientific analysis and research indicates that one of the portraits, previously attributed to seventeenth-century artist Ferdinand Bol, might be a lost masterpiece by Rembrandt.

Continue reading