Rosenberg LibraryRoenberg Library
2310 Sealy Street, Galveston, TX 77550-2220
(409) 763-8854
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Rosenberg Library Announces Museum Book Club Spring Selection

The Gardner Heist book jacketRosenberg Library is pleased to announce that The Gardner Heist: The True Story of the World’s Largest Unsolved Art Theft, written by Ulrich Boser, has been selected as the Spring 2013 book for the Museum Book Club series. Museum Book Club offers participants the chance to experience art and literature in a more interactive way. Members will have the opportunity to view rarely seen art and historical artifacts from the Rosenberg Library Museum collection as they discuss related books.

The Gardner Heist, a highly acclaimed national bestseller, provides a detailed account of the daring 1990 theft at the legendary Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. In the middle of the night, two thieves disguised as police officers stole thirteen works of art including priceless paintings by Rembrandt, Vermeer, and Degas. The missing masterpieces—worth a staggering $600 million—have never been recovered. Despite a hefty $5 million reward for information leading to the return of the stolen paintings, the whereabouts of the works remain unknown 23 years later. Those who have endeavored to solve the mystery develop an all-consuming obsession with the tale.

Author Ulrich Boser was a contributing editor at U.S. News and World Report who became interested in the Gardner case after meeting a legendary fine arts claims adjuster named Harold Smith. After Smith’s death, Boser continued with his detective work, pursuing a maze of leads related to the theft at the Gardner Museum. In his book, Boser explores the dark underworld of art-related crimes. From unethical auction houses to art forgeries and heists, Boser reveals the startling practices of dealers and criminals who engage in the profitable venture of buying, selling, counterfeiting, and stealing highly prized works of art.

The Philosopher by Paulus Moreelse (1571-1638) Gift of William Willis Sealy
The Philosopher by Paulus Moreelse (1571-1638)
Gift of William Willis Sealy
Museum Book Club participants will experience an up-close view of original works by 17th century Dutch artists Paulus Moreelse and Godfried Schalcken, contemporaries of Rembrandt and Vermeer. These paintings, donated by Galveston collector William Willis Sealy in the 1950s, are the oldest works in the library’s Museum collection. The Gardner Heist program will also feature a signed Degas charcoal drawing that has been identified by art experts as a fake.

Girl with Candle by Godfried Schalken (1606-1669) Gift of William Willis Sealy
Girl with Candle by Godfried Schalcken
(1606-1669) Gift of William Willis Sealy
The Book Club will focus on a single book and related artifacts on a quarterly basis. The first meeting of the Spring 2013 Rosenberg Library Museum Book Club will be a brown bag lunch meeting, Wednesday, March 20th from 12 noon – 1 pm. A second brown bag lunch club will be held on Thursday, April 25th from 12 noon – 1 pm. On Saturday May 18th, the book discussion and art presentation will take place at 11 am. Light refreshments will be provided at all sessions.

Registration is required for all Museum Book Club meetings. Established Book Clubs are encouraged to participate. Groups of over 10 people are asked to call the Reference Desk so we may arrange to accommodate your entire group.

The Gardner Heist is available for check out at the Rosenberg Library and is available for checkout as an e-book through Rosenberg’s 3M Cloud Library. Call 409-763-8854 ext. 115 for additional information.