Stealing the Scream: The Hunt for a Missing Masterpiece
However, the lack of any organization to the story did frustrate me a bit. I am okay with (even fond of) stories that jump all over the place when it serves some aesthetic, quirky, or endearing purpose. This did not. The overarching story is about the theft and recovery of The Scream. Dolnick also includes other anecdotes and adventures of the detective Charley Hill. As a side note, this does read ...more
This time out, though, the compendium aspects outweigh the central thread, and by a long shot. The real value of the book is in the asides, the comparisons, the sidebar items. There, the depth of the research really shows, in spite of an overdeveloped appreciation of the main character, (who obviously charmed the ...more
Highly recommended for anyone interested in learning more about how real art detectives work.
It's the story of Charley Hill, a Scotland Yard undercover police officer, who recovered Edvard Munch's The Scream after it was stolen off Oslo museum walls in 1994. Dolnick weaves the recovery story through stories of Hill's life as well as stories of other art thefts and recoveries. It's ...more
The book is mainly about the theft of one of the four Scream paintings (the most famous of the four copies by Munsh), and its recovery. Along the main event, Dolnick takes some detours in some ...more
"The thief turned to "The Scream"--it hung only a yard from the window--and snipped the wire that held it to ...more
I read this prior to going to Norway in 2007, and of course one of the places we went to was Norway's National Gallery, scene of the thefts. (However, for much more Munchian atmosphere, I'd recommend going to the Munch museum instead.)
The most ...more
But - there's too little of the thieves and the art. He spends a lot of time describing the "rescue artist", ...more
Mo' money, mo' problems… a consistent theme of this book. I have never really thought about art theft or even realized the magnitude of the problem. According to this book, it is estimated that the stolen art market was doing 4-6 billion dollars of business per year (2005). More surprising, the actual theft is usually boorish and simple -- break a window and walk out with the painting or quickly cut it from its frame when no one is watching. Most thieves are not "Ocean 11-ing" ...more
Fortunately, this is not the story of those paintings. Instead, it's a mystery, with 'clues' about the missing painting (drips of wax from when Munch blew out the candle while painting: the drips landed on The Scream in an identifiable pattern). The psychology of the people involved is analyzed, although the author is a little too self-assured about his reading of character over - say - that of a professional psychologist....
The tale is full of ...more
The Rescue Artist: A True Story of Art, Thieves, and the Hunt for a Missing Masterpiece by Edward Dolnick could easily have been subtitled “the professional biography of Charley Hill” which is okay as that is what the work is all about. To be fair author Dolnick does a good job capturing Hill’s eccentricities and his skills while at the same time making it clear that Hill is not really very likable. That lack of likability though is what makes Hill so successful at finding stolen art – he doesn’...more