Crimes of the Art World

Crimes of the Art World

Crimes of the Art World

Crimes of the Art World

Synopsis

On a March night in 1990, two men posing as police officers were let into Boston's Gardner Museum. Nearly 20 years later, they and $300 million dollars worth of stolen paintings remain at large, making the heist not only the largest art theft ever, but the largest unsolved one as well.

Excerpt

This book is an introduction to art crime, researched and written from the perspective of criminology (and to a lesser extent, from insights gained through a career as a federal criminal investigator). However, long before my days as a federal agent, graduate student, and now college instructor, I studied art history as an undergraduate. This coursework laid a foundation for a lifelong interest in art and art history, which in turn, prompted this undertaking. To be very clear, however, this is not a work of art history. I leave such endeavors to those who have acquired the requisite education, training, and experience in that highly specialized field. However, as a work that attempts to explore the intersection of art and crime, it will hopefully be of interest and value not only to those who study and/or follow crime but also to those who study and/or follow art as well. If this goal is met, the interests of a broad segment of readers should be addressed.

Criminology is a social science that examines crime as social phenomenon and society’s reaction to it. While it is rooted in sociology, it readily brings in knowledge from other fields such as psychology, law, economics, political science, and philosophy in its attempt to better understand the process of why and how we have laws that label some conduct as crimes, why some people break these laws, and what we as a society do when such conduct occurs. This inclusive approach has extended the reach of criminology in many directions ranging from theoretical explanations to analyses of various types of offending to policing and correctional practices. Nevertheless, the literature in criminology has been relatively silent on crimes that affect art and those who create, own, and/or have custody . . .

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