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The Gardner Heist: The True Story of the World's Largest Unsolved Art Theft

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The Gardner Heist: The True Story of the World's Largest Unsolved Art Theft Cover

ISBN13: 9780061451836
ISBN10: 0061451835
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

“Boser cracks the cold case of the art worlds greatest unsolved mystery.” —Vanity Fair

“The True Story of the World's Largest Unsolved Art Theft,” The Gardner Heist by Ulrich Boser is a fascinating account of a brazen and amazing criminal act — a book that could help police and investigators solve the mystery of the 1990 break-in and burglary at Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. “A tantalizing whodunit” (Boston Globe) and a “riveting, wonderfully vivid account [that] takes you into the underworld of obsessed art detectives, con men, and thieves” (Jonathan Harr, author of The Lost Painting), The Gardner Heist is true crime history at its most spellbinding.

Review:

"In the early morning hours of March 18, 1990, thieves posing as cops entered Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and left with a haul unrivaled in the art world, including three Rembrandts and a Vermeer, valued today at $600 million. Boser, a contributing editor at U.S. News and World Report, turned amateur sleuth after the death of a legendary independent fine arts claims adjuster, Harold Smith, who was haunted by the Gardner robbery. Boser carried on Smith's work, pursuing leads as varied as James 'Whitey' Bulger's Boston mob and the IRA. Along the way, he visited felons — including the notorious art thief Myles Connor — and Bob Wittman, the FBI's only art theft undercover agent. Boser's rousing account of his years spent collecting clues large and small is entertaining enough to make readers almost forget that, after 18 years, the paintings have still not been found: the museum is offering a $5 million reward for information leading to their return. Photos." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

The Gardner Museum in Boston is a monument to the idiosyncrasies of the rich. A replica of a Venetian palazzo, it embodies the vision of Isabella Stewart Gardner, who built a world-class art collection and displayed it her way. The museum's holdings include "works by Titian, Velazquez, Raphael, Manet, and Botticelli." Until 1990, the Gardner housed even more treasures; that was when thieves dressed... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

“The book is a thrill.” The Guardian

Review:

“In The Gardner Heist, author Ulrich Boser offers a tantalizing whodunit as he embarks on an exhaustive search for the stolen masterpieces.” Boston Globe

Review:

“Boser's book on it has the feel of a speedy ride down a mountain road spiked with hairpin turns. Christian Science Monitor

Review:

“A vivid portrait of the high-stakes world of art crime.” Associated Press

Review:

“Boser has produced a captivating portrait of the worlds biggest unsolved art theft.” Wall Street Journal

Review:

“Boser poetically contrasts the burning, almost unnatural desire art loversfeel for paintings with the cold reality that art theft is one of the easiestand most lucrative types of crime.” Kirkus Reviews

Book News Annotation:

The Gardner museum in Boston is the idiosyncratic collection of one woman, who bought art apparently as the mood stuck her. But along the way Isabelle Gardner acquired some of the most important paintings in Western art. In March of 1990, the museum was robbed of several works, including Rembrandts, a Manet, Vermeers and several Degas. To date, no one has been convicted of the theft and none of the paintings have been recovered. Crime writer Boser inherited the files of Harold Smith, who investigated the theft. This is the story of Boser's increasing obsession with the mystery. Over several years, he learned a great deal about the shady underworld of art theft. In this case, he believes that at least one of the perpetrators is a career gangster named David Turner. In many ways, the tale is one of frustration, like most real investigations. Smith died without ever solving the crime. Boser seems to have gotten much further but, of the missing art, there hasn't been a whisper. Annotation ©2009 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

About the Author

Ulrich Boser has written for the New York Times, the Washington Post, Smithsonian magazine, Slate, and many other publications. He has served as a contributing editor at U.S. News and World Report and is the founding editor of The Open Case, a crime magazine and web community. He lives in Washington, D.C.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

mckinney, July 7, 2009 (view all comments by mckinney)
This book was amazing! The story was told by someone who has thrown himself into the fray and his first hand knowledge is evident. It seems from reading his account that he has done more than anyone to try and locate these lost paintings, but ultimately the legend became too outrageous and for the sake of his own sanity he quit. That’s what it sounded like to me at least. The ride that Ulrich has taken and the people that he has pursued come to life and create a mind boggling puzzle for the ages. I really liked how he told his story. He put just the right amount of history, background, and facts into this book. When reading The Gardner Heist, unlike some non fiction, it wasn’t boring or dry. It kept moving and kept me interested until the end.

There is a $5 million reward to anyone who has a helpful lead to where the paintings are today.
How unfair it is that some people can deprived others of history just by taking a piece of canvas.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(1 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9780061451836
Subtitle:
The True Story of the World's Largest Unsolved Art Theft
Publisher:
Smithsonia
Author:
Boser, Ulrich
Subject:
General
Subject:
History - Contemporary (1945- )
Subject:
Art thefts
Subject:
Massachusetts
Subject:
Other Miscellaneous Crimes
Subject:
Collections, Catalogs, Exhibitions - Museum
Subject:
History : General
Subject:
Art thefts - Massachusetts - Boston
Subject:
Theft from museums - Massachusetts - Boston
Subject:
General True Crime
Subject:
Family - General
Subject:
Crime - True Crime
Subject:
Art-History and Criticism
Subject:
Great britain
Subject:
Interest
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Publication Date:
20090224
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in
Age Level:
to 3

Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Architecture » Architects
Arts and Entertainment » Art » History and Criticism
Arts and Entertainment » Art » Museology
Arts and Entertainment » Art » Museum Studies
History and Social Science » Crime » True Crime

The Gardner Heist: The True Story of the World's Largest Unsolved Art Theft
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 256 pages Smithsonia - English 9780061451836 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "In the early morning hours of March 18, 1990, thieves posing as cops entered Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and left with a haul unrivaled in the art world, including three Rembrandts and a Vermeer, valued today at $600 million. Boser, a contributing editor at U.S. News and World Report, turned amateur sleuth after the death of a legendary independent fine arts claims adjuster, Harold Smith, who was haunted by the Gardner robbery. Boser carried on Smith's work, pursuing leads as varied as James 'Whitey' Bulger's Boston mob and the IRA. Along the way, he visited felons — including the notorious art thief Myles Connor — and Bob Wittman, the FBI's only art theft undercover agent. Boser's rousing account of his years spent collecting clues large and small is entertaining enough to make readers almost forget that, after 18 years, the paintings have still not been found: the museum is offering a $5 million reward for information leading to their return. Photos." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , “The book is a thrill.”
"Review" by , “In The Gardner Heist, author Ulrich Boser offers a tantalizing whodunit as he embarks on an exhaustive search for the stolen masterpieces.”
"Review" by , “Boser's book on it has the feel of a speedy ride down a mountain road spiked with hairpin turns.
"Review" by , “A vivid portrait of the high-stakes world of art crime.”
"Review" by , “Boser has produced a captivating portrait of the worlds biggest unsolved art theft.”
"Review" by , “Boser poetically contrasts the burning, almost unnatural desire art loversfeel for paintings with the cold reality that art theft is one of the easiestand most lucrative types of crime.”
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