This Is a Robbery: Netflix Takes On $500m Gardner Museum Heist.
The Gardner Museum Heist, the most significant art robbery in history, is the subject of a new Netflix series. Over St. Patrick’s Day weekend in 1990, a criminal gang dressed as Boston police officers stole priceless masterpieces including Rembrandt’s Storm on the Sea of Galilee (1633), A Lady and Gentleman in Black (1633), a Rembrandt Self Portrait (1634) Vermeer’s The Concert (1658–1660); Govaert Flinck’s Landscape with an Obelisk (1638), a Chinese vase or Ku, all taken from the Dutch Room on the second floor of the gallery. Also stolen from the second floor were five works on paper by the Impressionist painter Edgar Degas and a finial from the top of a pole support for a Napoleonic silk flag, both from the Short Gallery plus Edouard Manet’s Chez Tortoni (1878–1880) pilfered from the Blue Room on the first floor.
Worth over $500m dollars in today’s money, the artworks from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston have never been recovered. This four-part documentary series from director Colin Barnicle covers the leads, dead ends, lucky breaks and speculations that characterised the investigation of this still unsolved mystery despite three decades of publicity and a $10m reward yet to be claimed for information leading to the return of the paintings. A must-watch – Artlyst ****
Why Saudi Arabia Refused To Loan The Louvre Da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi
The controversy surrounding Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi, the world’s most expensive painting, has continued this week with the release of a film that hints at why the Louvre, the world’s favourite museum, didn’t include the painting in its seminal 2019 Da Vinci exhibition.
The documentary titled, ‘The Savior for Sale’ has now been shown on French television, claiming that the Louvre refused to be pressured by Saudi Arabia, who demanded the painting be included alongside known masterpieces by the artist and not in a section designated for ‘school of’ and ‘attributed to’ works. This occurred after scientific testing proved the artist was only a contributor and not necessarily the artwork’s dominant creator.
A recent article in the New York Times stated the Louvre didn’t contest the painting’s authenticity. However, Saudi officials stipulated that the work be displayed next to the Mona Lisa, something the Louvre’s chief curator wasn’t having.
theVOV A New Virtual Arts Ecosystem launches
Outset Contemporary Art Fund and art-science collective Visualogical partner to launch theVOV, a new virtual arts ecosystem launching on Monday 19 April 2021 with an exciting 10-week programme of exhibitions and live events. For its inaugural season, 15 of the UK’s leading museums and galleries – including Tate, Hayward Gallery, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, The Whitworth, Spike Island, South London Gallery, Turner Contemporary and Sarabande Foundation, established by Lee Alexander McQueen – are joining forces on one centralised open-access platform in an unprecedented act of solitary.
Season One’s inspiring programme of exhibitions includes the return of Chris Burden’s iconic 14 Magnolia Doubles to South London Gallery after 15 years; a virtual rehanging of Andreas Gursky’s first major UK retrospective at the Hayward Gallery in 2018; Yinka Shonibare CBE RA’s open-air installation at Yorkshire Sculpture Park 2013; Lisa Brice’s 2018 Art Now exhibition at Tate Britain; a group show of female artists curated by Hikari Yokoyama for Sarabande Foundation; and the haunting assemblage of Ibrahim Mahama’s Parliament of Ghost at The Whitworth for Manchester International Festival in 2019.
A dynamic collateral programme of live events will run throughout the season. From Lunchtime Tours and panel discussions with institution directors taking place inside the virtual galleries themselves through an innovative social interface co-designed by Visualogical, especially for theVOV, to intimate and informal Evening Events with artists hosting interactive workshops, such as collage making, spoken word, DJ sets, and the first-ever life-drawing class of a digital avatar.
theVOV SEASON ONE FULL PROGRAMME OF EXHIBITIONS
Launching Monday 19 April 2021:
Hayward Gallery presents ‘Andreas Gursky’ (2018)
Goldsmiths Centre for Contemporary Art presents ‘Tony Cokes: If UR Reading This It’s 2 Late: Vol 1’ (2019)
Spike Island presents ‘Pacita Abad: Life in the Margins’ (2020)
Launching Monday 26 April 2021:
Ikon Gallery presents ‘Hurvin Anderson: reporting back’ (2013)
Tate presents’ Art Now: Lisa Brice’ (2018)
Drawing Room presents ‘Marc Bauer: Mal Ȇtre / Performance’ (2019)
Launching Monday 3 May 2021:
Yorkshire Sculpture Park presents ‘Yinka Shonibare CBE RA: FABRIC-ATION’ (2013)
National Galleries of Scotland presents ‘Hanna Tuulikki: SING SIGN: a close duet’ (2015)
The Whitworth, The University of Manchester presents’ Ibrahim Mahama: Parliament of Ghosts’ (2019)
Launching Monday 10 May 2021:
South London Gallery presents ‘Chris Burden at the South London Gallery’ (2006)
Nottingham Contemporary presents ‘The House of Fame: Convened by Linder’ (2018)
The Photographers’ Gallery presents ‘Jan Svoboda: Against the Light’ (2020)
Launching Monday 17 May 2021:
Sarabande, the Lee Alexander McQueen Foundation presents ‘Corpus Mentis’ a group show of female artists curated by Hikari Yokoyama (2021)
Turner Contemporary presents ‘Katie Paterson & JMW Turner: A place that exists only in moonlight’ (2019)
The Showroom presents’ Collective Intimacy – Reviving a Live Programme’ (2019)
Top Photo: English: The empty frames of the two stolen Rembrandt paintings, A Lady and Gentleman in Black on the left and The Storm on the Sea of Galilee on the right. https://www.flickr.com/photos/chrisdignes/42907420235/ Author Chris Dignes Creative Commons