UPDATE: Missing Dürer, Rembrandt works found

Albrecht Durer

From left, Boston Public Library President Amy Ryan and Conservation Officer Lauren Schott wear relieved smiles after the library relocated missing works by Dürer and Rembrandt. Photo courtesy of BPL.org

Two works by Albrecht Dürer and Rembrandt van Rijn reported as missing from the Boston Public Library (BPL) were revealed to have been misfiled.

After digging through nearly 60 percent of the library’s print collection, the etching by Rembrandt and engraving by Dürer were located, ending a search that involved the FBI, Boston Police Department and U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The announcement was made on June 4, eight weeks after the library realized the works were missing. Library President Amy E. Ryan had said the library hoped the works were simply misplaced. Boston police, however, didn’t rule out the possibility that the works, valued at a combined $620,000, may have been stolen.

“We’re thrilled to have found these treasures right here at home,” said Ryan. “They were found safe and sound, simply misfiled. BPL is still committed to enhanced security and a full inventory, but today is a day of celebration for the entire team at BPL.”

Lauren Schott, a conservation officer with the Boston Public Library, was the one who found the items. She was modest about locating the valuable artwork amidst the library’s 200,000-item collection of prints.

“I was shocked to find the two prints, but it really was just luck of the draw. Anyone of the team that’s been looking for the Dürer and Rembrandt could have found them,” said Schott.

The Rembrandt and Dürer were found together approximately 80 feet from where the items should have been filed.  A total of 14 staff members searched 180,000 of the print stack’s 320,000 items – which includes 200,000 prints and drawings in the Print Collection and 120,000 chromolithographs – totaling 38 rows of the 60 rows of print stacks.

The Dürer engraving, “Adam and Eve,” was made in 1504 and has an estimated value of $600,000.

Rembrandt’s “Portrait with Plumed Cap and Lowered Sabre” etching, made in 1634, is valued at $20,000 to $30,000.

The case has inspired the library to enhance its security measures, especially as it receives more than 3.7 million visitors on an annual basis. The plan includes an inventory of the 320,000 collection by an expert preservationist and upgrading from catalog cards to an electronic catalog.

Ryan has also announced that she will resign from her position as of July 3, 2015, saying it will “allow the work of the Boston Public Library to continue without distraction.”

The crisis of the missing Dürer and Rembrandt may have been averted, but Boston is still the victim of an unsolved art crime. Read more about how the infamous Gardner heist has remained a mystery for 25 years.

Leave a comment

Prove you\'re human. *

Latest News

  • Behind the Artist: Lebo

    Inspired by ancient modes of storytelling, comic strip compositions, and the grit of 1970s street art, David (Lebo) Le Batard surrenders his artwork to the sum of history. The Cuban-American ...
    Read More
  • Art News: $110.5-Million Basquiat, Condensed Film Images, and Virtual Dalí Art

    The art world is full of fascinating exhibitions, intriguing discoveries, and moments that shape history. Here are some of the latest news items making art headlines.   Basquiat Art Sets New Record ...
    Read More
  • VIP Profile: April Fan

    April Fan is always on the look-out for amazing art. On her second-ever cruise, she was pleased to discover a friendly and fun way to collect art with Park West. “The ...
    Read More
  • Nano Lopez Reveals the Magic of his Nanimals

    For Nano Lopez, animals embody the mysterious and magical aspects of life, opening a world of wonder every time he observes one. During the opening of his largest
    Read More
  • Park West Gallery Unveils Newest Artist: Orlando Quevedo

    Enter the magical world of Orlando Quevedo where fantasy and reality seamlessly blend together with masterpieces from art history. As the leading proponent of “Magical Realism,” Quevedo’s art is exhibited ...
    Read More
  • Port of Call: Santorini, Greece

    Take in the picturesque sights and local sounds of Santorini, Greece. Formed by a series of volcanic eruptions over thousands of years, this port has turned a series of catastrophes ...
    Read More
  • Art News: Louvre Abu Dhabi Opening, Chagall and Music, and Dalí’s Hologram

    The art world is full of fascinating exhibitions, intriguing discoveries, and moments that shape history. Here are some of the latest news items making art headlines.   Louvre Museum to Open $1.3-Billion ...
    Read More
  • Autumn de Forest Inspires the Next Generation of Artists

    Early exposure to the arts can positively impact a child. Master artists Rembrandt van Rijn and Pablo Picasso didn’t wait until they were ...
    Read More
  • Behind the Artist: Yaacov Agam

    To Yaacov Agam—progenitor of the Kinetic and Optical Art movement—change is inevitable. Born in 1928 in Rishon LeZion, Israel, Yaacov Agam is an internationally-acclaimed, multimedia artist who pioneered an art ...
    Read More
  • How KISS Inspired Anatole Krasnyansky’s Surreal Style

    Artist Anatole Krasnyansky didn’t interpret the hard rock band KISS as music, but a “message from Hell” that resulted in the birth of a second style. Following his immigration ...
    Read More
  • St. Jude Children’s Research Honors Michael Godard

    In June 2005, artist Michael Godard heard the words no parent wishes to hear: Your child has cancer. The doctors diagnosed his 15-year-old daughter, Paige, with medulloblastoma, the most common pediatric ...
    Read More
  • Art News: Swindled Masterpieces, Goya’s Disease, and Emoji Gargoyles

    The art world is full of fascinating exhibitions, intriguing discoveries, and moments that shape history. Here are some of the latest news items making art headlines. Thieves Swindle Italian Art Dealer ...
    Read More