The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Thursday, August 17, 2017


Willem de Kooning's 'Woman-Ochre' returns to University of Arizona Museum of Art
The painting retrieved from New Mexico was preliminarily authenticated by world-renowned conservator and professor Nancy Odegaard of the Arizona State Museum.


TUCSON, ARIZ.- Willem de Kooning's "Woman-Ochre," stolen the day after Thanksgiving in 1985, has been returned to the University of Arizona Museum of Art by a good Samaritan from New Mexico. Preliminary authentication confirms it is the famous painting.

The painting was cut out of its frame in a UAMA gallery by a man and a woman who followed a museum staff member inside at approximately 9 a.m. on Nov. 29, 1985. The woman distracted the security guard while the man went upstairs and cut "Woman-Ochre" from its frame with a sharp blade. The two hurried out of the museum and never returned. The heist took no more than 15 minutes.

The painting recently was purchased at an estate sale by David Van Auker, owner of Manzanita Ridge Furniture & Antiques in Silver City, New Mexico. The next morning, he put the painting on display in his store and quickly began receiving several comments about how it appeared to be an original work by de Kooning. Van Auker began researching the piece and discovered an article about the theft of "Woman-Ochre" from UAMA in 1985. The painting in the article looked identical to the painting sitting in his store.

Van Auker immediately called the museum to inform staff and to assure them he wanted only for it to be safely returned to the people of Arizona. Museum staff traveled to Silver City to retrieve the painting and safely returned it to a secure location in Tucson on Monday.

"It's a great day for the University of Arizona and great news for the art world and people who care about public art," said UA President Robert C. Robbins. "I want to acknowledge and thank David Van Auker. He's the hero who worked so hard to make sure the painting was returned to its rightful home."

The artist, de Kooning, was one of the pioneers and leaders of abstract expressionism, a movement that began in New York after World War II. It was popularized by artists including Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko as well as de Kooning, who began his "Women" series in 1950. The series, heavily influenced by Picasso, is considered monumental in the way that it imagines the human figure. In 2006, "Woman 3," another de Kooning painting in the series, sold for $137.5 million.

The painting retrieved from New Mexico was preliminarily authenticated by world-renowned conservator and professor Nancy Odegaard of the Arizona State Museum.

Odegaard spent two hours completing a thorough visual examination of both the painting and the remnants left behind from the original. Several characteristics were consistent with the recorded history of "Woman-Ochre," including documented repairs, alignment of the cut lines in the canvas and brush strokes on the recovered painting that lined up with marks on the convas remnants, and the painting was authenticated as the original work.

"This is a monumental moment for the museum," said Meg Hagyard, director of UAMA. "We are thrilled at the possibility that this work could once again be on exhibit in our galleries. This is an especially poignant moment, as 'Woman-Ochre' was donated by Edward Joseph Gallagher Jr. as part of one of the largest gifts in the museum's history. Having both the collection and that gift complete once again is something that we've always hoped for.

"This was one of the most important moments in my life," Van Auker said. "I'm so grateful that I got to be a part of it. I'm forever bound to that painting, and to the U of A."

"The thieves actually committed two crimes that day," said Kimberly Andrews Espy, UA senior vice president for research, whose office oversees the art museum. "First, they stole an important signature painting from the University's museum collection. They also stole more than 30 years of access from the public and scholars across the world, depriving them of the opportunity to appreciate, learn from and be inspired by a significant artist."

At the time of the theft, Brian Seastone, chief of the University of Arizona Police Department, was a public information officer at UAPD and the lead investigator on the case. "I was always very optimistic that one day we would find the painting, but it's hard to describe the emotion of it coming home," Seastone said. "There's this sense of relief and happiness. It's a sense of calm. It's back, it's home, it's where it should be. We know the art is worth an awful lot of money, but the story behind it is priceless."






Today's News

August 12, 2017

Willem de Kooning's 'Woman-Ochre' returns to University of Arizona Museum of Art

Fossil teeth suggest earlier entry of modern humans into SE Asia

Dallas Museum of Art launches enhanced online collection on DMA.org

Carved bone reveals rituals of prehistoric cannibals

Rock legend's private collection on view at Peabody Essex Museum

'A Century of Japanese Prints' includes recent acquisitions of modern and contemporary Japanese art

Susan Dackerman appointed director of the Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts at Stanford University

Akron Art Museum presents the sometimes weighty, sometimes lighthearted Heavy Metal

Tampa Museum of Art presents "Photorealism: 50 Years of Hyperralistic Paintings"

RM Sotheby's gathers seven decades of Ferrari's finest for Maranello sale

Cosmoscow announces artists and exhibitors for the 5th edition

PAFA opens "A Collaborative Language: Selections from the Experimental Printmaking Institute"

Knoxville Museum of Art opens American Impressionism exhibition

Avoiding a Greek tragedy for Athens' modernist architecture

Ancient sites turned refugee camps as millions fled Partition

Russia's devout royalists protest racy biopic of tsar

Winner announced for John Fries Award 2017

Art Stage Jakarta announces winners of the inaugural Indonesia Art Award

Solo exhibition of work by Rashaad Newsome opens at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art

Celebrity designer Lana Marks offers Princess Diana handbag in Heritage Luxury Accessories Auction

Part 1 auction of a lifetime art glass and antique collection to be held Sept. 9th

Exhibition presents a selection of over 50 works by Yale University's 2017 MFA Photography graduates

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Basquiat: A darling of pop culture, but not museums

2.- Edward Hopper House unveils new collection of the American artist's early years and memorabilia

3.- Alice Cooper finds precious Warhol work in storage

4.- Evidence of Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem found at the City of David

5.- Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibits masterpieces by painter Cristóbal de Villalpando

6.- Exhibition on Screen to open its fifth season with Canaletto & the Art of Venice

7.- Gifts to Britain's Queen Elizabeth II go on display at Buckingham Palace

8.- The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago opens first-ever museum exhibition of Amanda Williams

9.- Exhibition details how Israel's Mossad tracked down and captured Adolf Eichmann

10.- Extraordinary embroidery: Hidden histories of ordinary girls revealed through their sewing



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez


Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org avemariasound.org juncodelavega.com facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful