Published on September 14th, 2015 | by gatsbyadmin0
Andy Warhol’s Bald Eagle Has Flown
As the owner of an art framing shop in the West Adams neighborhood of Los Angeles, Ca, there is always work to be done. Be it restoration of a frame, re-framing a piece, or framing “high end art” for customers, it becomes easy to spot fake art from the real pieces.
In July of this year, a customer brought in two original, dated, numbered, and signed Andy Warhol prints, he told the owner that he had noticed some sagging in the corner of the frame. Nothing that he would have trouble fixing. He had already worked on pieces from the famous “Warhol Factory” before. When he started into his work on re-framing the first piece, he noticed something. This was not signed. There were no edition numbers. The print lines were blurry. Upon further inspection, he determined what every art collector fears: this was a copy. So was the second one. But how was that possible?? Ultimately it was determined that a special tool had been used to remove the hung art pieces off the walls, then the prints from the frames.
It is believed that the art has been stolen over a period of at least 3 years, being meticulously replaced with fake prints. Detectives from Los Angeles Police Department’s Art Detail have determined that the cost of the stolen art is probably in the realm of $350,000. After some investigation, nine original Warhols have been confirmed stolen from this collector, who adorned his family business, a film editing company, with the prints.
Andy Warhol’s 1980 collection, “Ten Jews of the Twentieth Century” included six signed and numbered paintings that showcased Sigmund Freud, George Gershwin, Sarah Bernhardt, Louis Brandeis, Martin Buber, and Gertrude Stein. These are now missing.
1983 saw Warhol working on a collection called, “Endangered Species.” This collection is known to be much pricier, and three of these signed, dated, and numbered pieces have been stolen. These were valued at $200,000 and includes paintings of the Siberian Tiger, Bald Eagle, and Bighorn Ram. One of these is thought to have been sold, Bonham’s Auction House sold a similar print of “Bald Eagle” in October of 2011, making this a very long term heist. If the seller of this print can be found, it is likely the others are still hanging around.
“You used to ride on the chrome horse with your diplomat
Who carried on his shoulder a Siamese cat
Ain’t it hard when you discover that
He really wasn’t where it’s at
After he took from you everything he could steal.”
-Bob Dylan “Like a Rolling Stone” from Highway 61 Revisited (1965)
Written by: Courtney Gilmore @ogofcbd