Goya, The Duke, and Free TV for Granny!

Art Crime Podcast | Season 1, Episode 7

Lucky Episode 7! Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes (aka: Goya) is our focus this episode and boy do we have a lot to say about him. Mara and Baker are big fans! In our sharing is caring segment, we cover the recent “I just wanted to move the Warhol print for a laugh, I wasn’t going to steal it!” guy in Rochester, NY. Plus that dude who found Viking treasure last week, and then Baker explains why Beeple (Mike Winkelmann) is a low key genius who is mainstreaming NFT art sales with Christie’s. We briefly attempt to explain NFTs and what this Beeple auction at Christie’s might mean for the future of art. All of that and lots more Goya talk, including why his Los Caprichos series reminds Baker of an 80’s thrash metal band.

Episode References

The Duke of Wellington, by Francisco de Goya
Saturn devouring a Son, by Francisco de Goya
Saturn devouring a Son, by Peter Paul Rubens (Baker said Raphael in this episode by accident, sorry!)
Essential Worker 2320, by Beeple
Emoji Warfare , by Beeple

Local man charged in attempted robbery from Rochester’s Memorial Art Gallery | The Art Newspaper
An Amateur Metal Detectorist Has Unearthed a Rare Stash of 1,000-Year-Old Viking Jewelry on the Isle of Man | Artnet News
Christie’s to accept cryptocurrency for first time | The Art Newspaper
‘Beeple Mania’: How Mike Winkelmann Makes Millions Selling Pixels, Esquire Magazine
Know your meme, Saturn Devouring his Son
NFTs are transforming the digital art world. | Foundation.app

Find Us
Instagram: @artcrimepod
Twitter: @artcrimepod
Show Notes and Blog: ARTCRIME .blog
Mara on Instagram: @mjvpaints

Kindly Stop Stealing the Munch!

Art Crime Podcast | Season 1, Episode 6

This one is a doozy! Mara and Baker discuss their long affairs with the art of Edvard Munch. We play armchair psychologists on Munch and ourselves. Baker gives us a preview of the Munch musical he’s been writing since college. Warning: Baker sings a lot in this one. Then he has the audacity to try and make “hot goss” a thing, which will not happen, but he’d love to have a jingle for it. Munch was way too involved in his friends’ love triangle (gross) and that brings us to news! Kevin Hart gets robbed by an assistant, a fake German heiress gets out of jail, and finally; Steve Martin doing more great things. Baker sniffs his bowl of tea leaves while Mara investigates the 1994 and 2004 thefts of Edvard Munch’s The Scream, one of the most famous and iconic images in history. In the end, we find it hard to dislike one of the thieves who just seems like a hopeless romantic. Stay to the end to hear our impromptu Norwegian dance song.

Available wherever you get your podcasts:
Apple | Spotify | Overcast | Google

Episode References

The Scream, by Edvard Munch
The Sick Child, by Edvard Munch
Nightwanderer, by Edvard Munch
Leiv Eirikson Discovering America, by Christian Krohg (1893)
Portrait of the painter Christian Krohg, by Oda Krohg (1903)
”Melancholy” – portrait of Jappe Nilssen, by Edvard Munch
Madonna, by Edvard Munch
American artist Sam Friedman

Kevin Hart’s personal shopper used star’s credit card for a $1 million spree, DA says, Miami Herald
Anna Delvey, Who Scammed New York’s Richest With Plans for a Private Museum, Insider.com
Steve Martin Helps to Launch Indigenous Art Fund, ARTnews

The Ed Ruscha print Steve Martin sold when he “angrily left L.A.”, by Baker!
Pal Enger, Norwegian ex-professional footballer turned art thief, The Book of Man

Find Us
Instagram: @artcrimepod
Twitter: @artcrimepod
Show Notes and Blog: ARTCRIME.blog
Mara on Instagram: @mjvpaints

The Ed Ruscha print Steve Martin sold when he “angrily left L.A.”

Everyone knows Steve Martin is an avid collector and lifelong champion of the arts, but did you know his first purchase of art was a $125 print of Ed Ruscha’s Hollywood sign?

From LACMA’s curator notes: “Ed Ruscha first drew the Hollywood sign in 1967…Ruscha has joked that the sign was ‘a smog indicator: if I could read it, the weather was OK.'”

Ruscha’s series of Hollywood sign prints showcase the hallmarks we’ve come to associate with Ruscha; beautiful typography, sharp angles, and a word that speaks volumes.

“‘Hollywood’ is like a verb to me…It’s something you can do to any subject or any thing.”

Ed Ruscha
Schrafft’s Hollywood Study (Ed Ruscha, 1967), The Art Institute of Chicago

Above: This simple pen and pencil sketch on a placemat tells a wonderful origin story. It belongs to the prints and drawings collection at The Art Institute of Chicago.

We can see the origin of Ruscha’s Hollywood series on a placemat from the legendary Schrafft’s restaurants. There’s Ruscha’s signature diminishing perspective made famous by his Standard Station series and it appears he’s working out his preferred line of sight. In the upper-left of the placemat, the sketch includes the sign’s iconic position on a bluff in the Santa Monica Mountains, but he would later shift the perspective and sign’s position to the mountain ridge.

“The first thing I bought happened to be an Ed Ruscha print of Hollywood, the Hollywood sign. I bought it from Irving Blum’s gallery on La Cienega and I paid $125 for it, and I was very excited.”

Steve Martin

Surely the first piece of art Steve Martin ever purchased must still remain in his collection, especially from a titan like Ed Ruscha, someone Steve Martin would eventually call friend. Right? Sadly, the answer is no. According to a 2010 New York Times article, Martin explains, “It’s a long story…I sold it when I angrily left L.A.”

I would love to hear that long story, wouldn’t you?

Below: Here’s a wonderful primer on the art and life of Ed Ruscha

“Ed Ruscha: Buildings and Words” – YouTube

How Steve Martin Became an Art Collector, Art Gallery of Ontario
Ed Ruscha Hollywood screenprint in colors, Christies.com
Hat tip to this 2010 tweet by Abigail De Kosnik
Steve Martin’s ‘Object of Beauty’ Tackles New York Art World, The New York Times
Schrafft’s Hollywood Study, 1967, The Art Institute of Chicago

Staying Humble with Rembrandt’s Nose!

Art Crime Podcast | Season 1, Episode 5

We reminisce about our trip to Puerto Rico, the street art of Vieques, and Mara falling into a pothole (with hilarious results, says Baker). We obsess over the evolution of Rembrandt’s nose through 30 years off self-portraits, we spend a little time discussing what was so “golden” about the Dutch Golden Age. We celebrate the [criminally overlooked] genius of some Dutch female painters of the era with a special shout out to Clara Peeters! Our news this week is all about the sometimes complicated topic of restitution, and then Mara jumps into yet another case where poor skylight security leads to a multi-million dollar art heist. Won’t someone please think of the skylights?!

Available wherever you get your podcasts:
Apple | Spotify | Overcast | Google

Episode References

Rembrandt van Rijn, Landscape with Cottages
Rembrandt van Rijn, Self portrait (age 23)
Rembrandt van Rijn, Self portrait (1657)
Rembrandt van Rijn, Self-Portrait with Beret and Turned-Up Collar
Clara Peeters, Still Life with Flowers, a Silver-gilt Goblet, Dried Fruit, Sweetmeats, Bread sticks, Wine and a Pewter Pitcher

US Supreme Court sides with Germany in Guelph Treasure case
Survivor in battle to keep Nazi-looted Pissarro masterpiece in France
’We want our riches back’ – the African activist taking treasures from Europe’s museums

Find Us
Instagram: @artcrimepod
Twitter: @artcrimepod
Show Notes and Blog: ARTCRIME .blog
Mara on Instagram: @mjvpaints

The art heist book plot considered “worryingly plausible” by the National Galleries of Scotland

Author Ian Rankin revealed on Twitter that a National Galleries of Scotland (NGS) boss forbid filming in its galleries for the 2012 movie adaptation of Rankin’s 2008 novel, Doors Open.

Doors Open tells the story of three friends who plan a heist to “liberate” works of art from NGS storage. In reaction to a tweet recommending the new Netflix art heist series, Lupin, visual artist and NGS copywriter assistant Greag Mac a’ tSaoir was reminded of the Rankin thriller.

“…I read @Beathhigh’s Doors Open, about a gang robbing the NGS stores and it was like a personalised four hundred page anxiety attack,” tweeted Mac a’tSaoir.

Rankin responded to the @ and revealed that his plot was so good, the NGS took note. “They wouldn’t let us film in Edinburgh – boss of NGS said the plot was worryingly plausible…” tweeted Rankin.

That is high praise for the imagination of Rankin. He created a plot so good, NGS staff had a collective anxiety attack! No doubt there was an internal NGS meeting or two regarding the novel.

In consideration of a future printing of Doors Open, I’d like to recommend the following pull quote for the book’s cover…

“Worryingly plausible!”

Boss, National Galleries of Scotland

Sword Fights, Artichokes, and the Missing Caravaggio!

Art Crime Podcast | Season 1, Episode 4

We pat ourselves on the backs for getting to Episode 4 before jumping into the wild life of Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio. Baker attempts the podcast’s first Art History crash course (with mixed results) and can’t help himself from nerding out on comic book artist references related to the subjects of the episode. Mara explains the importance of iconography and tries to dissuade Baker from creating fake art news. You’ll be shocked to learn that the mafia might be involved with the Caravaggio heist. And we should probably apologize in advance for our attempts at West Side song references.

Available wherever you get your podcasts:
Apple | Spotify | Overcast | Google

Episode References

Caravaggio’s The Martyrdom of St. Matthew, 1599-1600
El Greco’s Laocoön
Caravaggio’s David with the Head of Goliath, 1610
Caravaggio’s Medusa, 1597
Botticelli’s Young Man holding a Medallion
The Art of Alex Ross
The Art of Rob Liefeld

Randolph man arrested in connection with vandalism at Gardner Museum, according to police
A Single Mystery Collector Went on a Buying Spree at Sotheby’s $114 Million Old Masters Auction, With Botticelli Just the Beginning
Italy Reopens Investigation Into Missing Caravaggio Masterpiece

Artists by Art Movement on WikiArt

Find Us
Instagram: @artcrimepod
Twitter: @artcrimepod
Show Notes and Blog: ARTCRIME .blog
Mara on Instagram: @mjvpaints

The Ferris Bueller’s Day Off scene that introduced a generation to art appreciation

I’ve been thinking about Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, the museum scene.

The museum scene (filmed at the Art Institute of Chicago) is such a beautiful tribute to the power of museums. Three impressionable high school kids are happily immersed in the museum experience, they soak it in and become supremely moved by the art. They are downright reverent. George Seurat’s A Sunday on La Grande Jatte almost moves Cameron to tears.

I was 13 when Ferris Bueller’s Day Off arrived in theaters. I was very tall for my age, late-blooming, and way too sensitive. I think you get the picture. That museum scene is less than 2 minutes long, but it transported me, it lit me up. I felt equal parts exhilarated and exposed by that scene.

“Oh my god, I am Cameron,” was my unspoken response. I had father issues, I was not mentally well, and I was an embarrassed 13 year old boy who could be brought to tears by looking at beautiful things, like art.

Cameron stares into George Seurat’s A Sunday on La Grande Jatte and goes deeper, deeper, and deeper into the painting. He sees himself reflected in the face of a child, and he looks haunted by the experience. Meanwhile, an orchestral cover of The Smiths, Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want plays in the background. This scene is an emotional overload.

In the Ferris Bueller DVD audio commentary John Hughes explains, “The closer he [Cameron] looks at the child, the less he sees, of course, with this style of painting. The more he looks at it, there’s nothing there. He fears that the more you look at him there isn’t anything to see. There’s nothing there. That’s him.”

Ouch. I am Cameron.

But here’s the other thing that stuck with me for all of these years. This 1 minute and 54 seconds scene was my introduction to some of history’s greatest works of art. I was just some kid at a movie theater in the suburbs of Massachusetts until I was suddenly transported into the Art Institute of Chicago with Ferris, Sloane, and Cameron. Several shots in this museum montage are about 1:1 scale, director John Hughes drops us into the gallery and introduces us to vivid footage of Gustave Caillebotte, Paul Gauguin, Pablo Picasso, Alberto Giacometti, Jackson Pollock, Georges Seurat, and so on.

“This is a very indulgent scene of mine, this was the Chicago Art Institute, which when I was in high school–was a place of refuge for me. I went there quite a bit. I loved it. I knew all the paintings, I knew the building, and this was a chance for me to go back into this building and show the paintings that were my favorite,” said Hughes.

In the process, he initiated a generation of new art lovers. What a wonderful contribution and footnote to the John Hughes legacy.

Below: links to (almost) all of the art shown in the Ferris Bueller’s Day Off museum scene, in order of appearance…

Paris Street; Rainy Day | The Art Institute of Chicago
1877, Gustave Caillebotte, French, 1848-1894

Merahi metua no Tehamana (Tehamana Has Many Parents) | The Art Institute of Chicago
1893, Paul Gauguin, French, 1848-1903

Arlésiennes (Mistral) | The Art Institute of Chicago
1888, Paul Gauguin, French, 1848-1903

Nighthawks | The Art Institute of Chicago
1942, Edward Hopper, American, 1882–1967

Above. left:
The Red Armchair | The Art Institute of Chicago
1931, Pablo Picasso, Spanish, active France, 1881–1973

Improvisation No. 30 (Cannons) | The Art Institute of Chicago
1913, Vasily Kandinsky, French, born Russia, 1866–1944

Painting with Green Center | The Art Institute of Chicago
1913, Vasily Kandinsky, French, born Russia, 1866–1944

Three Men Walking II | The Art Institute of Chicago
1948/49, Alberto Giacometti, Swiss, 1901–1966

Nude under a Pine Tree | The Art Institute of Chicago
1959, Pablo Picasso, Spanish, active France, 1881-1973

Walking Man II | The Art Institute of Chicago
1960, Alberto Giacometti, Swiss, active France, 1901–1966

Woman before an Aquarium | The Art Institute of Chicago
1921–23, Henri Matisse, French, 1869–1954

The Old Guitarist | The Art Institute of Chicago
late 1903–early 1904, Pablo Picasso, Spanish, active France, 1881–1973

Winged Figure | The Art Institute of Chicago (Not fully shown)
1889, Abbott Handerson Thayer, American, 1849–1921

The Child’s Bath | The Art Institute of Chicago
1893, Mary Cassatt, American, 1844–1926

Jacques and Berthe Lipchitz | The Art Institute of Chicago
1916, Amedeo Modigliani, Italian, 1884–1920

Mahana no atua (Day of the God) | The Art Institute of Chicago
1894, Paul Gauguin, French, 1848-1903

The Plough and the Song | The Art Institute of Chicago (Not fully shown)
1946–47, Arshile Gorky, American, born Armenia, 1904–1948

Greyed Rainbow | The Art Institute of Chicago
1953, Jackson Pollock, American, 1912–1956

Bathers by a River | The Art Institute of Chicago 1909–10, 1913, and 1916–1917, Henri Matisse, French, 1869–1954

Above, right:
The Petite Creuse River | The Art Institute of Chicago
1889, Claude Monet, French, 1840-1926

Stacks of Wheat (Sunset, Snow Effect) | The Art Institute of Chicago
1890/91, Claude Monet, French, 1840-1926

Boats on the Beach at Étretat | The Art Institute of Chicago
1885, Claude Monet, French, 1840-1926

Woman in front of a Still Life by Cézanne | The Art Institute of Chicago
1890, Paul Gauguin, French, 1848-1903

Portrait of Sylvette David | The Art Institute of Chicago
1954, Pablo Picasso, Spanish, worked in France, 1881–1973

A Sunday on La Grande Jatte — 1884 | The Art Institute of Chicago
1884/86, Georges Seurat, French, 1859-1891

America Windows | The Art Institute of Chicago
1977, Marc Chagall, French, born Vitebsk, Russia (present-day Belarus), 1887–1985

120 Square Feet of Missing Maxfield Parrish!

Art Crime Podcast | Season 1, Episode 3

This week’s case, the theft of the Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney Murals, painted by Maxfield Parrish!

We start with some vocal exercises and Mara explains why Maxfield Parrish was one of the most successful illustrators in history. Even if you *think* you don’t know Maxfield Parrish, you almost definitely know his work. We become big fans of Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney and Mara plans her own palatial artist studio. Baker discusses the news about a recovered Leonardo-school ‘Salvator Mundi’ painting of Christ and tries to avoid conspiracy theories about its “conveniently timed” return. We inevitably discuss why stolen art is so rarely returned, just like the two Maxfield Parrish murals stolen from the Edenhurst Gallery in Los Angeles —which, conveniently, is the subject of our case! And if you make it that far, you’ll want to stay for our first “fun fact” segment, there’s singing involved.

Available wherever you get your podcasts:
Apple | Spotify | Overcast | Google

Episode References

Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney Murals, panels 3A and 3B
Robert Henri, portrait of Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney
“A weird celebration of boredom and honesty”: the work of Jess Warby NEWS
Priceless Leonardo-school ‘Salvator Mundi’ painting of Christ stolen from Naples basilica two years ago is found in a local flat

History of the Whitney Museum in NYC
Michelangelo’s poem to Giovanni da Pistoia about how much he hated painting the Sistine Chapel

Find Us
Instagram: @artcrimepod
Twitter: @artcrimepod
Show Notes and Blog: ARTCRIME .blog
Mara on Instagram: @mjvpaints

A Cézanne is No Match for Parkour!

Art Crime Podcast | Season 1, Episode 2

Baker applauds Mara’s recent improvisational marionette dance, we discuss a recent art heist in New Zealand and the conclusion of the “Gurlitt Trove” investigation. We accidentally get into a really interesting discussion about stereoscopes and trains and how they both changed the course of Impressionism. And then Mara dives into one of the coolest art heists in history when someone steals Cezanne’s painting, View of Auvers-sur-Oise. We don’t condone the theft, but we celebrate the speed, athleticism, and use of smoke canisters during the heist! 

Episode References

Cezanne’s View of Auvers-sur-Oise 
Cezanne’s The Large Bathers 
Vincent Van Gogh’s Le Jardin de Daubigny 
Camille Pissarro’s Jalais Hill, Pontoise 
Charles Frederick Goldie (1870-1947) at Art UK 

Gurlitt trove: Research on Nazi-looted art ends 
Goldie painting ‘Sleep ’tis a Gentle Thing’ stolen 
Batman #1 (1940) sold for $2.22m 

The Ashmolean 
The History of the Prestigious Paris Salon 
Van Gogh Museum’s “In Daubigny’s Footsteps” online exhibit 
Brewster’s Stereoscope 
Stereoscopy, Cézanne, and the Metapictorial Logic of Spatial Construction 
“All hail Adrian Pimento, God Emperor of Brooklyn Nine-Nine” by Alasdair Wilkins 

Find Us
Instagram: @artcrimepod 
Twitter: @artcrimepod 
Mara on Instagram: @mjvpaints

Going big with the Mona Lisa theft!

Art Crime Podcast | Season 1, Episode 1

Baker requests more details about Mara’s 6th grade fiction about Mr. Schneider the jewel thief, then “sharing is caring” about art we’d like steal and a new TV show we like to watch. We try to figure out how the Mona Lisa got so popular in the first place, Baker compares the Mona Lisa to The Beatles, then Mara deep dives into the strange and true history of Mona Lisa’s disappearance, with cameos by Pablo Picasso and Franz Kafka.

Available wherever you get your podcasts:
Apple | Spotify | Overcast | Google

Episode References

Nicolás Romero, Los ultimos dias de primavera (2020)
Caitlin  Winner, Kitchen (2020)
Louis Béroud, L’escalier de l’Opéra (1877)
Bridgette Thornton, hydrangeas (purchased by Mindy Kaling)

Lupin on Netflix

Find Us
Twitter: @artcrimepod
Instagram: @artcrimepod
Mara on Instagram: @mjvpaints