PORTLAND, Maine — Six historically significant paintings by beloved American painter and
illustrator N.C. Wyeth were recently secured and reunited after being stolen more than two years ago in what the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) calls one of the largest property thefts in Maine’s history. The recovered artworks are now returned to their home state and are on view at the Portland Museum of Art (PMA) through Jan. 3, 2016, a museum spokesperson announced at an FBI press conference held at the PMA.
The exhibition, The Great N.C. Wyeth Caper: Paintings by America’s Storyteller, features six artworks that were the focus of the state’s largest art heist and an FBI criminal investigation. After the paintings were taken from a private collector’s home in Portland, Maine, four were removed from their frames and endured a perilous cross-country journey to a pawn shop in Beverly Hills, California, where they were identified and returned to authorities in December 2014.
The remaining two paintings were recently recovered in the Greater Boston area, still in their original frames.
N.C. (Newell Convers) Wyeth (1882–1945), best known for his illustrations of literary classics such as Treasure Island, The Last of the Mohicans and The Yearling, is the patriarch of three generations of important American painters, including his son Andrew Wyeth (1917-2009) and his grandson Jamie Wyeth (born 1946). The works of all three artists are deeply influenced by the rugged, natural beauty of Maine, where the family summered for many decades.
For more information, call 207-775-6148 or visit portlandmuseum.org.