The Woburn Historical Society and the Friends of the Woburn Public Library will launch Woburn Reads 2014, a community-wide reading experience, at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 6 at Woburn Memorial High School.
The book selected is Barbara Shapiro’s "The Art Forger," a literary thriller about disgraced artist Claire Ross who will get a one-woman show if she will copy a painting given to her by a noted gallery owner. Her dilemma: she’s being asked to copy a masterpiece stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Copies are available for circulation at the library, or you may purchase a copy for $10 while supplies last.
For the first event, Anthony Amore, Director of Security at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and author of "Stealing Rembrandts," will be speaking on major Rembrandt heists in the last century, as well as heists in Massachusetts.
Amore’s multi-media presentation will include details about the unsolved Gardner Museum heist. In the early morning hours of March 18, 1990, two thieves disguised as policemen stole 13 pieces of artwork valued at $500 million from the museum. The thieves stole a Rembrandt “Self-Portrait” as well as “The Storm on the Sea of Galilee,” his only seascape. Paintings by Vermeer, Degas and Manet were also stolen. All 13 pieces remain missing to date.
Amore has been leading efforts to track down the missing artwork since he was hired by the museum to be its chief investigator. In March 2013, the FBI announced that they know the identities of the thieves, but have yet to locate the missing art.
"Stealing Rembrandts," which Amore co-authored with award-winning investigative reporter Tom Mashberg, is a spellbinding journey into the world of art theft, a profitable criminal enterprise which costs collectors and galleries over $6 billion a year.
To make the evening even more special, artwork by eighth grade students of instructor Nancy Borrelli at the Joyce Middle School will be on display. The students studied the missing artwork, learned techniques used by the artists, and replicated their favorite stolen piece of art. Come to see their “masterpieces.”
At the conclusion of his program, Mr. Amore will take questions from the audience and be available to sign books. His book will be available for purchase at that time.