The Gardner Heist

The Gardner Heist

A True Story of the World's Largest Unsolved Art Theft

Book - 2008 | 1st ed
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One museum, two thieves, and the Boston underworld--the story behind the lost Gardner masterpieces worth $500 million and the art detective who swore to get them back.
Contents: The storm on the sea of Galilee : a disturbance in the courtyard
Chez Tortoni : the art detective
A lady and gentlemen in black : it was a passion
The concert : the picture habit
Cortege aux environs de Florence : the art of the theft
Landscape with an obelisk : something that big
Ku : unfinished business
Three mounted jockeys : infiltrate and infatuate
Self-portrait : I was the one
Program for an artistic soiree I : any news on your side
Program for an artistic soiree II : where's Whitey?
La sortie de pesage : put my picture on the cover
Finial : like a spiderweb
Publisher: New York : Smithsonian Books/Collins, c2008
Edition: 1st ed
Branch Call Number: 364.162 B
Characteristics: 260 p., [8] p. of plates : col. ill. ; 24 cm
ISBN: 9780061451836


From the critics

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Nov 15, 2018

I devoured this book, an investigation into the still-unsolved theft of several priceless works of art from the Gardner Museum in 1990, in just a few days. The author does a great job of tracking the many twists and turns in the case, as well as demonstrating how the heist has had such an impact on art lovers and art novices alike. A fast-paced, entertaining read.

Oct 24, 2017

This reads like a real crime novel with all of the twists and turns and cliffhangers! It's a fun read but I wish that the final chapter was the author's opinion of what has happened to the paintings. I know that they are still lost and therefore the book is destined for a disappointing ending but a little speculation could leave the readers with some sense of closure. As it stands you are just left a little sad and wanting a whole lot more.

ArapahoeHannah Jan 05, 2017

I was fascinated by the ever-present genius combination of minds.

Oct 07, 2015

The author's search for these paintings and his conclusion that for the thieves the heist was much more the thrill than anything about the artwork.
My visits to the Gardner always were more about the Impressionists. Did I even wander through the Dutch Room? Fact of the day. Rembrandt is his first name, not his surname!

Dec 22, 2014

This book is very convoluted, as is the story of the Gardner heist itself. Harold Smith thought he was close to solving it; after his death Smith's family gave Boser access to his research, and multiple times, Boser thought he was close to solving it. Yet almost 25 years after the heist, the empty places on the wall remain just as empty. The leads led to poor security at the Gardner itself, corrupt Boston cops and art dealers, drug dealers and the IRA. Boser became as obsessed by the case as Smith had been, but when his second child was born, and his life was being threatened, he finally realized he needed a normal life, and gave up the chase. For me, too, the chase, fascinating at the beginning, had become tainted. The book held me in its thrall. It didn't get five stars because its intricacy made it hard to follow at times.

Sep 24, 2011

I stayed up late to read this book, which reads like a mystery novel! It is truly a shame that these wonderful pieces have never been recovered!


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