Stealing Rembrandts: The Untold Stories of Notorious Art Heists [NOOK Book]

Overview


A spellbinding journey into the high-stakes world of art theft

Today, art theft is one of the most profitable criminal enterprises in the world, exceeding $6 billion in losses to galleries and art collectors annually. And the masterpieces of Rembrandt van Rijn are some of the most frequently targeted.
In Stealing Rembrandts, art security expert Anthony M. Amore and award-winning investigative reporter Tom ...

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Stealing Rembrandts: The Untold Stories of Notorious Art Heists

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Overview


A spellbinding journey into the high-stakes world of art theft

Today, art theft is one of the most profitable criminal enterprises in the world, exceeding $6 billion in losses to galleries and art collectors annually. And the masterpieces of Rembrandt van Rijn are some of the most frequently targeted.
In Stealing Rembrandts, art security expert Anthony M. Amore and award-winning investigative reporter Tom Mashberg reveal the actors behind the major Rembrandt heists in the last century. Through thefts around the world - from Stockholm to Boston, Worcester to Ohio - the authors track daring entries and escapes from the world's most renowned museums. There are robbers who coolly walk off with multimillion dollar paintings; self-styled art experts who fall in love with the Dutch master and desire to own his art at all costs; and international criminal masterminds who don't hesitate to resort to violence. They also show how museums are thwarted in their ability to pursue the thieves - even going so far as to conduct investigations on their own, far away from the maddening crowd of police intervention, sparing no expense to save the priceless masterpieces.
Stealing Rembrandts is an exhilarating, one-of-a-kind look at the black market of art theft, and how it compromises some of the greatest treasures the world has ever known.

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Editorial Reviews

EBOOK COMMENTARY

"A compelling story." – The Washington Post

"The book alternates between Rembrandt as a prime target of thieves and a broader examination of art thefts throughout the United States and the rest of the world. Amore and Mashberg smash myth after myth." – The Seattle Times

"[The authors] interview some of today’s highest-profile art thieves . . . The most absorbing part of the entire book is the verbatim testimony from Myles J. Connor about how he cased museums, identified security weaknesses, planned his operations, implemented them, and sought to profit from the art he stole." -- The Boston Globe

"Anthony Amore and Tom Mashberg have a textured feel for Rembrandt's work." --The Wall Street Journal

"A quick and entertaining read." --The Christian Science Monitor

"This is a terrific book, and excellently researched." -- ARTnews

"A detailed look at numerous robberies targeting works by the great Dutch master over the past century. Combining impressive shoe-leather reporting skills with solid art-world knowledge, this fascinating book debunks many myths about museum heists while providing vivid profiles of the criminals and their motives . . . As Amore and Mashberg show, stealing a Rembrandt seldom pays off for the thieves but makes the world at large infinitely poorer. With hard facts and a cleareyed perspective, this book sets the record straight." —Associated Press

"The authors smash myth after myth, many of them the result of unrealistic movies of the James Bond variety ... An interesting mish-mash of everything related to the thievery of valuable art."-- Kirkus Reviews

"Art history meets C.S.I. in this account of the theft of works by Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn, the most prolific master painter of the Dutch Golden Age. Amore and Mashberg narrate heists ranging from noir to farce, weaving in details about the historical relevance of each work and background on the artist . . . The authors convey the importance of Rembrandt's works as historical and cultural touchstones and argue that art theft is a 'crime against all of us.'" -- Publishers Weekly

“A fast-paced and engrossing exposé of the shady underbelly of the art world.”—Robert K. Wittman, New York Times bestselling author of Priceless: How I Went Undercover to Rescue the World’s Stolen Treasures

"You don't have to appreciate art -- just entertaining true-crime stories -- to enjoy 'Stealing Rembrandts.' In this fast-moving account of some of the most daring art heists ever, art security expert Anthony Amore introduces a colorful real-life cast of sticky-fingered art-lovers you won't soon forget, especially the next time you find yourself in a museum checking out an exhibit of Old Masters, or new."--Howie Carr, bestselling author of Hitman and The Brothers Bulger

"Authors Amore & Mashberg are the Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson of the art world. True masters in their own right, they provide an unvarnished look at some of history's most notorious art heists, separating fact from popular fiction and defeating the notion that art theft is a victimless crime. On the contrary, Stealing Rembrandts is proof that plundering art for profit is more dangerous than we could ever have imagined."--Casey Sherman, bestselling author of Search for the Strangler, Bad Blood and The Finest Hours

"People often ask me, 'Why would anyone steal a high-profile piece of art? What could they do with it?' If you want answers read Stealing Rembrandts. This finely crafted chronicle of a century of Rembrandt thefts gives the reader rare and intimate access to the strange milieu of the art heist."--Rebecca Dreyfus,

Stealing Rembrandts offers a rare inside look into a world few of us know beyond headlines and Hollywood. By weaving together Rembrandt’s own story with exclusive interviews and insights into the men who have stolen his masterpieces, authors Anthony M. Amore and Tom Mashberg do a masterful job of connecting the artist and his thieves across the centuries. Along the way, they explode myths and reveal the true nature of the criminals and their crimes. Most of us can’t hope to hang a Rembrandt on our walls, but the good news is that we can eagerly add this book to our collections.”--Mitchell Zuckoff, author of Lost in Shangri-La

"Stealing Rembrandts is thoroughly researched and filled with memorable characters.  It is a fascinating and entertaining read."—Milton Esterow, publisher of ARTnews

 

Christopher Schoppa
Together [Amore and Mashberg] tell a compelling story.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
Art history meets C.S.I. in this account of the theft of works by Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn, the most prolific master painter of the Dutch Golden Age. Amore and Mashberg narrate heists ranging from noir to farce, weaving in details about the historical relevance of each work and background on the artist. Some thieves prove more cunning than others, but the star is Myles Connor, the mastermind behind a daring lift from the Boston Museum of Fine Arts that is reminiscent of a Hollywood movie. Even on paper, Connor comes off so beguiling and debonair that his chapter outshines the occasionally lackluster companion pieces. However, these cases provide insight into the psychology and even the philosophy of art thieves. They also provoke questions about the purpose of such thefts given that it is nearly impossible to re-sell world famous pieces of art. Overall, the authors convey the importance of Rembrandt's works as historical and cultural touchstones and argue that art theft is a "crime against all of us." Amore himself is plagued by the theft of three Rembrandts from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, where he serves as head of security. That mystery, for now, remains unsolved. Photos. (July)
From the Publisher
"A compelling story." – The Washington Post

"The book alternates between Rembrandt as a prime target of thieves and a broader examination of art thefts throughout the United States and the rest of the world. Amore and Mashberg smash myth after myth." – The Seattle Times

"[The authors] interview some of today’s highest-profile art thieves . . . The most absorbing part of the entire book is the verbatim testimony from Myles J. Connor about how he cased museums, identified security weaknesses, planned his operations, implemented them, and sought to profit from the art he stole." — The Boston Globe

"Anthony Amore and Tom Mashberg have a textured feel for Rembrandt's work." —The Wall Street Journal

"A quick and entertaining read." —The Christian Science Monitor

"This is a terrific book, and excellently researched." — ARTnews

"A detailed look at numerous robberies targeting works by the great Dutch master over the past century. Combining impressive shoe-leather reporting skills with solid art-world knowledge, this fascinating book debunks many myths about museum heists while providing vivid profiles of the criminals and their motives . . . As Amore and Mashberg show, stealing a Rembrandt seldom pays off for the thieves but makes the world at large infinitely poorer. With hard facts and a cleareyed perspective, this book sets the record straight." —Associated Press

"The authors smash myth after myth, many of them the result of unrealistic movies of the James Bond variety ... An interesting mish-mash of everything related to the thievery of valuable art."— Kirkus Reviews

"Art history meets C.S.I. in this account of the theft of works by Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn, the most prolific master painter of the Dutch Golden Age. Amore and Mashberg narrate heists ranging from noir to farce, weaving in details about the historical relevance of each work and background on the artist . . . The authors convey the importance of Rembrandt's works as historical and cultural touchstones and argue that art theft is a 'crime against all of us.'" — Publishers Weekly

“A fast-paced and engrossing exposé of the shady underbelly of the art world.”—Robert K. Wittman, New York Times bestselling author of Priceless: How I Went Undercover to Rescue the World’s Stolen Treasures

"You don't have to appreciate art — just entertaining true-crime stories — to enjoy 'Stealing Rembrandts.' In this fast-moving account of some of the most daring art heists ever, art security expert Anthony Amore introduces a colorful real-life cast of sticky-fingered art-lovers you won't soon forget, especially the next time you find yourself in a museum checking out an exhibit of Old Masters, or new."—Howie Carr, bestselling author of Hitman and The Brothers Bulger

"Authors Amore & Mashberg are the Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson of the art world. True masters in their own right, they provide an unvarnished look at some of history's most notorious art heists, separating fact from popular fiction and defeating the notion that art theft is a victimless crime. On the contrary, Stealing Rembrandts is proof that plundering art for profit is more dangerous than we could ever have imagined."—Casey Sherman, bestselling author of Search for the Strangler, Bad Blood and The Finest Hours

"People often ask me, 'Why would anyone steal a high-profile piece of art? What could they do with it?' If you want answers read Stealing Rembrandts. This finely crafted chronicle of a century of Rembrandt thefts gives the reader rare and intimate access to the strange milieu of the art heist."—Rebecca Dreyfus,

Stealing Rembrandts offers a rare inside look into a world few of us know beyond headlines and Hollywood. By weaving together Rembrandt’s own story with exclusive interviews and insights into the men who have stolen his masterpieces, authors Anthony M. Amore and Tom Mashberg do a masterful job of connecting the artist and his thieves across the centuries. Along the way, they explode myths and reveal the true nature of the criminals and their crimes. Most of us can’t hope to hang a Rembrandt on our walls, but the good news is that we can eagerly add this book to our collections.”—Mitchell Zuckoff, author of Lost in Shangri-La

"Stealing Rembrandts is thoroughly researched and filled with memorable characters.  It is a fascinating and entertaining read."—Milton Esterow, publisher of ARTnews

Library Journal
From How To Steal a Million to The Thomas Crown Affair, film audiences have been fascinated by the romance of brilliant art heists. But the reality is somewhat different. Amore was hired as security director by the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston 15 years after several Rembrandts had been stolen from it and immediately set about to become an expert on art thefts and on Rembrandt, whose works are stolen at an astonishingly high rate. In this book, he and journalist Mashberg generously share their research, tracing a number of Rembrandt heists, both elegant and slapdash, and revealing how the thieves were captured and the works recovered (or not). Interviews with criminals and insights from dedicated law-enforcement personnel draw the reader into this rarified world. In addition, the authors provide history on Rembrandt and his world and on the stolen works themselves. VERDICT Art history buffs and fans of the classic caper alike will enjoy this look at the great artist and those who would possess him.—Deirdre Bray Root, Middletown P.L., OH
Kirkus Reviews

A museum security director and a journalist combine to educate the masses about the realities of art theft, with an emphasis on the paintings of Rembrandt.

Amore is employed at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, which has been victimized by thieves pulling off high-profile heists. Mashberg is a Boston Herald reporter who immersed himself in the Gardner thefts, hoping to solve the most notorious of those, which occurred in 1990. The authors smash myth after myth, many of them the result of unrealistic movies of the James Bond variety. For instance, they demonstrate that a high percentage of art thieves—whether stealing from museums or private homes—are not sophisticated about technology or about the paintings themselves. In fact, many are common house burglars who seek new criminal challenges and who believe, often mistakenly, that stealing works of art assessed at high prices will lead to riches. They frequently fail to reckon with the reality that art masterpieces are difficult to fence because they stick out in underground markets. The bulk of the text consists of case studies from private residential collections and from public galleries in Stockholm, Cincinnati, Boston and Worcester, Mass.The studies sometimes feel like filler in an already slim book, partly because the heists occurred so many decades ago. The narrative is generally stronger when the authors convey insights from thieves who discuss their mindsets, and when the text focuses on why educated museum staff members can be duped so easily. The background about Rembrandt, why his art has become so sought-after and how thieves have disposed of his masterpieces constitutes a book within the book, backed by original research.

An interesting mish-mash of everything related to the thievery of valuable art.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780230337428
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 7/5/2011
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 270,578
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author


Anthony M. Amore is the head of security at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and contributes to the Boston Herald and Huffington Post. He serves as trustee of the Association for Research into Crimes against Art and lectures widely on art crime.

Tom Mashberg is an award-winning investigative reporter and the former Sunday Editor for the Boston Herald. During his 30-year career he has reported for The New York Times and The Boston Globe, as well as writing for Vanity Fair and many other publications. He was called “the quintessential newspaperman” by FOX-TV’s America’s Most Wanted.


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Table of Contents


Authors' Forewords
Introduction: Why Rembrandt?
There Is No 'Dr. No'
Smeared with Blood: The 1972 Worcester Heist
The Take-Away Rembrandt
Snafu in Cincinnati: 1973
Wolves at the Door: Heists from Homes
Devil's Bargain: The MFA Heist
2000: The Stockholm Blitz
The Rembrandt That Wasn't
Rembrandt's Stolen Etchings
Epilogue: Our Debt to Rembrandt
Target Rembrandt: The List of Thefts
Acknowledgements
Notes
Selected Bibliography
Index


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Customer Reviews

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( 6 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 16, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Art and Crime and Intrigue

    Anthony M Amore and Tom Mashberg have compiled a history of art theft that is as entertaining as it is astonishing. Amore is the security director for the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston - the location where 13 art works including two Rembrandt paintings and an etching caused an uproar in 1990: Mashberg is the investigative reporter and Sunday editor of the Boston Herald. These two gentlemen have as much intelligent information about the psychology and perpetration of art heists as anyone writing today and much of that information is form first hand experience.

    The title, STEALING REMBRANDTS, suggests that the information shared will be about he works of the great artist alone, but the book is actually a dissection of the history of art heists throughout the world. It is well documented and full of theory and fact that provides some of the more entertaining reading in art books available today. The In many ways this is a crime thriller rather than a documentation of thefts, but that is what makes the book not only informative but also an exciting read. The complexities and the faux pas of art theft are mind-boggling, and Amore and Mashberg play it to the hilt!

    Grady Harp

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2012

    Exceptional read.

    Exceptional read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 16, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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