Isabella Stewart Gardner: A Theft, Unsolved, Thirty Years On

March 18th marked the 30th anniversary of the infamous heist of 13 irreplaceable works of art from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. The single largest theft of its kind in the world, the case remains unsolved to this day. The Museum’s website provides a comprehensive guide to the crime, the works that were lost, and the cultural impact of the theft. Visit their site to listen to an audio tour of the 13 stolen works and the story of their theft, conducted by Director of Security Anthony Amore, and view images of the lost artwork, which include pieces by Rembrandt, Vermeer, and Manet (for further information, check out this guide to the stolen works, compiled by WBUR). 

Intrigued? For more artsy whodunits, delve into some titles of fictional (and some truth-is-stranger-than fiction) art world deception, on offer in our digital collections:

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

Now a major motion picture, The Goldfinch follows Theo Decker, who survived an attack at the Metropolitan Museum of Art that left his mother dead, from his teenage years to adulthood as he is drawn further and further into the dark art underworld. 

Check out the ebook or audiobook on Libby

Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett

The first in Balliett’s trilogy of middle-grade art mysteries, Chasing Vermeer follows intrepid sixth graders Petra and Calder as they solve the mystery of a Vermeer stolen from the Art Institute in Chicago. 

Check out the ebook or audiobook on Libby

The Art of the Heist: Confessions of a Master Art Thief, Rock-and-Roller, and Prodigal Son by Myles J. Connor, Jr. with Jenny Siler

The tell-all story from America’s most notorious art thief, Boston-based Myles Connor paints a revealing self-portrait of his life of crime. 

Available on hoopla

Stealing Rembrandts: The Untold Stories of Notorious Art Heists  by Anthony M. Amore & Tom Mashberg

Co-authored by the Director of Security of the Isabella Stewart Gardner, Stealing Rembrandts takes a deep dive into one of the most profitable criminal enterprises in the world and those who are willing to obtain a piece by the Dutch master at all costs.

Check out the ebook on Libby

The Art of the Heist film

This documentary series chronicles some of the most thrilling art heists in the world — including the heist at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

Stream it on AcornTV or hoopla

For more online content from the Gardner Museum, be sure to check out their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube channel — they are frequently posting highlights from their collections, including an Anders Zorn portrait of the lady herself, Isabella Stewart Gardner, to commemorate her birthday on April 14.


Visit Our Museums — Virtually!

Did you know: the Abbot Public Library offers free or reduced passes to fourteen of the Boston area’s best museums and attractions?

While these organizations are closed for the time being, they have been working hard behind-the-scenes to bring the museum experience to your home! We will be collecting fun activities and virtual tours created by museum staff and sharing them here with you, along with ways to get the most out of your virtual visit using the library’s digital services. In the meantime, please show our museum partners some love by visiting their websites and social media — there is a lot of wonderful content to find there!

To stay inspired and engaged at home, check out these websites: 

Boston by Foot

Boston Children’s Museum

Cape Ann Museum (our newest museum pass!)

deCordova Sculpture Park & Museum

Harvard Art Museums

The House of the Seven Gables

Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston

Arctic Fox at Stone Zoo

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum

Museum of Fine Arts

Museum of Science

New England Aquarium

Peabody Essex Museum

Zoo New England

Check back here to the Abbot Public Library Blog for other ways to use the library and to enjoy cultural institutions from home!

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum