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Arizona Arts

Have you seen these paintings?

After watching “The Thief Collector” documentary (about the couple who had our stolen Willem de Kooning painting Woman-Ochre hanging in their bedroom), writer Lou Schachter caught a scent.

He scrutinized the artworks pictured in old photographs of the couple’s home and compared them to other museum thefts in the region. That’s when he noticed that two of the artworks precisely matched those stolen from Taos, New Mexico’s Harwood Museum of Art in 1985 — the same year that Woman-Ochre was taken.

Here’s where all of us come in. When the couple – Jerry & Rita Alter – passed away, many of their belongings were donated to charity. We know these particular pieces traveled from the Silver City, NM Garden Club to the Scottsdale Art Auction, but that’s where the trail seems to end. Now, the FBI Art Crime Team is back on the case and requests any information on the whereabouts of these paintings: Victor Higgins’ Aspens and Joseph Henry Sharp’s Indian Boy In Full Dress. If you have a lead, please contact the Harwood Museum at (575) 758-9826 ext. 106 /, OR the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI /

Our art-theft story had a happy ending. Let’s help the Harwood Museum have theirs!

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Dekooning harwood thief collector uama tucson art museum


May 04, 2024