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The Purloined Rockwell - Stolen in St. Louis in '73. Found today -- on Steven Spielberg's wall
riverfronttimes.com ^ | February 28, 2007 | Kristen Hinman

Posted on 03/02/2007 8:49:58 PM PST by HAL9000

Excerpt -

Academy Award-winning director and producer Steven Spielberg has turned over to federal authorities Russian Schoolroom, a 1967 oil on canvas by Norman Rockwell that was filched from a Clayton art gallery in 1973, according to the FBI.

No charges have been filed in the case, and federal officials say they have no evidence that Spielberg knew the painting had been stolen when he purchased it in 1989.

"It appears that he is an innocent buyer," says St. Louis-based FBI agent Frank Brostrom, a member of the agency's Art Crime Team, who initiated the investigation. Spielberg is an avid Rockwell collector who helped fund the construction in 1993 of the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, and who joined its board of directors this past September. According to a December 3 article in the Washington Post, Rockwells from Spielberg's collection adorn numerous rooms in his office compound at Universal Studios in Hollywood.

~ snip ~


(Excerpt) Read more at riverfronttimes.com ...


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: arttheft; normanrockwell; ratcrime; rockwell; russianschoolroom; spielberg; stevenspielberg; theftbyreceiving
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1 posted on 03/02/2007 8:50:02 PM PST by HAL9000
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To: HAL9000

Laws are for the "little people" anyway.


2 posted on 03/02/2007 8:54:06 PM PST by Mad_Tom_Rackham (Veritas. Gravitas. Ohmygas.)
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To: HAL9000

3 posted on 03/02/2007 8:54:30 PM PST by martin_fierro (< |:)~)
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To: HAL9000

This makes no sense.

Soielberg is an "avid" Rockwell collector and he doesn't know it was stolen?

Google "norman rockwell" "Russian Schoolroom". The top searches are all about how it was stolen!

Spielberg -- an "avid" collector -- never bothered to google his own Rockwell picture?

Something smells...and it isn't "Hook."


4 posted on 03/02/2007 8:55:36 PM PST by Harpo Speaks (Honk! Honk! Honk! Either it's foggy out, or make that a dozen hard boiled eggs.)
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To: HAL9000

So we are supposed to believe that he spent a bundle of money on a picture and he didn't even bother to research it for authenticity?


5 posted on 03/02/2007 8:57:10 PM PST by Elyse (I refuse to feed the crocodile.)
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To: HAL9000
I can't believe he didn't know it was stolen. It is not in a Rockwell database anywhere? I think I will do a little Google search....
6 posted on 03/02/2007 8:57:32 PM PST by msnimje (If we have a choice of two PRO ABORTION candidates, this country is doomed.)
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To: martin_fierro

The best thing about that is the boy staring out the window, but I wonder if that was Spielberg's focus.


7 posted on 03/02/2007 8:57:39 PM PST by Moonman62 (The issue of whether cheap labor makes America great should have been settled by the Civil War.)
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To: HAL9000

http://www.fbi.gov/hq/cid/arttheft/northamerica/us/paintprint/rockwell/rockwell.htm


First hit on my Google search.


8 posted on 03/02/2007 8:58:23 PM PST by msnimje (If we have a choice of two PRO ABORTION candidates, this country is doomed.)
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To: Harpo Speaks

"Something smells...and it isn't "Hook."

I agree.

I would expect Spielberg to be arrested soon.


9 posted on 03/02/2007 8:59:34 PM PST by baubau (BOYCOTT Bank of America for Issuing Credit Cards to 3rd World Illegal Aliens.)
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To: HAL9000
[. . .Spielberg is an avid Rockwell collector. . .]

It's hard for me to believe Spielberg, an aficionado, could not know this painting was stolen.
10 posted on 03/02/2007 9:02:01 PM PST by Brad from Tennessee (Anything a politician gives you he has first stolen from you)
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To: HAL9000
Spielberg "didn't know????"
It took me under 3 minutes to find THIS at "fbi.gov":

"On June 25, 1973, an original Norman Rockwell painting, entitled Russian Schoolroom, was stolen during a late night burglary in Clayton, Missouri. The painting was part of a Norman Rockwell Exhibit sponsored by the Chicago office of the Circle Galleries, later known as Arts International Galleries. At the time of the theft, the Russian Schoolroom, oil on canvas, measured 16" X 37", and was presented in a 2' x 4' frame of dull gold-white molding. This painting may also be referred to as The Russian Classroom or Russian Schoolchildren."

I thiknk Spielberg ought to be jailed for possession of stolen goods.

11 posted on 03/02/2007 9:03:22 PM PST by Redbob
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To: Harpo Speaks
Pretty (suspiciously) sloppy on the part of dealer and purchaser. I find it difficult to believe that Spielberg would buy it without having it vetted by an expert third party. I certainly wouldn't. And Spielberg may be a pukey leftist, but he's not stupid. Not when spending that kind of money.

Sounds more like he was concerned the sniffing was getting too close and made a preemptive strike.
12 posted on 03/02/2007 9:04:26 PM PST by ChildOfThe60s (If you can remember the 60s......you weren't really there)
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To: HAL9000

ABC News 3-31-06 FBI looking for stolen Rockwell:

http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/wireStory?id=1791402


13 posted on 03/02/2007 9:06:10 PM PST by Brad from Tennessee (Anything a politician gives you he has first stolen from you)
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To: HAL9000
A man with Spielberg's resources? He had to know. It is plainly impossible to believe he didn't know.

I recently bought an Ellie Siskind drawing for--well, for me, a lot of money. I happen to know Ellie personally, who is a well-known regional painter with a national reputation. The purchase included proofs of provenance. Imagine then, if I was rich and bought a Rockwell. Not a big fan of his art, but hey, in this fantasy I'm rich enough to buy whatever I want. You better believe any reputable agent acting on my behalf would ensure he or she wasn't dealing in stolen art. Without provenance, the purchase doesn't take place. When talking high-value art, authorities are called when provenance isn't produced.
14 posted on 03/02/2007 9:06:24 PM PST by Rembrandt_fan
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To: msnimje; HAL9000

For the love of St. Peter and all that is good and holy, is that smell those trout you threw in the trunk on first day LAST YEAR!


15 posted on 03/02/2007 9:06:39 PM PST by Eagles6 (Dig deeper, more ammo.)
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To: ChildOfThe60s
Pretty (suspiciously) sloppy on the part of dealer and purchaser.

To say nothing of whoever carries the insurance on his art collection, eh?

16 posted on 03/02/2007 9:07:16 PM PST by sockmonkey
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To: Mad_Tom_Rackham

This is very, very common in the art world. Thieves hold onto the painting and re-introduce it into the market.

Most often the buyer has no knowledge.


17 posted on 03/02/2007 9:08:44 PM PST by BunnySlippers (RUDY FOR PRESIDENT 2008)
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To: sockmonkey

Yeah, about as easy to believe as the magically reappearing Rose law firm records that had been hiding on a table, in plain sight, for years.

And Stevie will be held accountable to the same degree that Hillary was. IOW, not at all.


18 posted on 03/02/2007 9:10:25 PM PST by ChildOfThe60s (If you can remember the 60s......you weren't really there)
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To: BunnySlippers

I know. I was just foolin' about. :O)


19 posted on 03/02/2007 9:16:52 PM PST by Mad_Tom_Rackham (Veritas. Gravitas. Ohmygas.)
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To: martin_fierro

20 posted on 03/02/2007 9:17:03 PM PST by HAL9000 (Get a Mac - The Ultimate FReeping Machine)
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To: ChildOfThe60s
Sounds more like he was concerned the sniffing was getting too close and made a preemptive strike.

Bingo. That was my first impression. Somebody had to know he had it. Can you say blackmail? He had to know the jig was up and opted to play the stupid card.

21 posted on 03/02/2007 9:17:11 PM PST by BaylorDad (99.999 % abortions are not to save the life of the mother.)
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To: baubau
I would expect Spielberg to be arrested soon. Ain't gonna happen. Laws are for those of us who are: -- Conservatives -- Legal citizens Everyone else (from illegal aliens to famous liberal Hollywood directors) need not worry.
22 posted on 03/02/2007 9:21:38 PM PST by rbg81 (1)
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To: Brad from Tennessee

He's had to know it was stolen at least since that ABC story last year. I bet he had a hard time sleeping.


23 posted on 03/02/2007 9:22:16 PM PST by chopperman
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To: HAL9000

Thats awesome.


24 posted on 03/02/2007 9:22:22 PM PST by FLOutdoorsman (Hunter/Paul 08)
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To: BunnySlippers
Most often the buyer has no knowledge.

You believe he owned the painting and never once looked it up on the Internet? See my post and link above.
25 posted on 03/02/2007 9:22:38 PM PST by msnimje (If we have a choice of two PRO ABORTION candidates, this country is doomed.)
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To: HAL9000
You are killing me!! That is too freakin' funny.
26 posted on 03/02/2007 9:23:44 PM PST by msnimje (If we have a choice of two PRO ABORTION candidates, this country is doomed.)
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To: BaylorDad
The thief doth fear each bush an officer.

I just made that up.

27 posted on 03/02/2007 9:23:44 PM PST by dasboot
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To: Harpo Speaks

He either is or isn't guilty...we just don't know as yet...I certainly don't anyway, but then, I've only got the information that the media has fed me.


28 posted on 03/02/2007 9:26:59 PM PST by gorush (Exterminate the Moops!)
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To: msnimje

I don't know whether Spielberg sits around Googling anything. This type of thing is VERY VERY common. Sometimes the buyer knows but very often they do not.

If the buyer knows they usually do not display it openly. Where was it hung in the Spielberg home?


29 posted on 03/02/2007 9:28:33 PM PST by BunnySlippers (RUDY FOR PRESIDENT 2008)
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To: dasboot
"The thief doth fear each bush an officer."

Very good. Makes me wander how the Clinton's sleep at night. They, by the way, are unmatched when it comes to playing the stupid card.

30 posted on 03/02/2007 9:32:23 PM PST by BaylorDad (Re: TTC - I propose all future rodes be built on public land only.)
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To: BunnySlippers
"Where was it hung in the Spielberg home?"

Right in the foyer...covered by 'Dogs Playing Poker'.

31 posted on 03/02/2007 9:33:31 PM PST by dasboot
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To: Harpo Speaks
Spielberg -- an "avid" collector -- never bothered to google his own Rockwell picture?

Neither did any of his family or friends!

32 posted on 03/02/2007 9:35:25 PM PST by Cementjungle
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To: HAL9000

LMAO!!!


33 posted on 03/02/2007 9:36:47 PM PST by Liberty Valance (Happy Birthday Texas!)
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To: dasboot

Actually, the people who DO know have private hidden rooms where the stolen paintings are hung.

I know there is a general interest here in pinning this on Spielberg because he's a leftie ... but it is not clear at all to what extent he is involved. At this point it appears the painting was in full view.


34 posted on 03/02/2007 9:38:33 PM PST by BunnySlippers (RUDY FOR PRESIDENT 2008)
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To: chopperman

That's what I think. It may well be he didn't know when he bought it that it was stolen. But the story says Spielberg is a big Rockwell fan and collector. He financed that Rockwell museum which means he probably meets and communicates with Rockwell collectors, art dealers and experts. At some point he likely found out it was stolen and has been trying to decide ever since what to do.


35 posted on 03/02/2007 9:39:40 PM PST by Brad from Tennessee (Anything a politician gives you he has first stolen from you)
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To: HAL9000

That was a good one. No question about it, that was a good one.


36 posted on 03/02/2007 9:40:20 PM PST by TET1968 (SI MINOR PLUS EST ERGO NIHIL SUNT OMNIA)
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To: HAL9000

Nice!


37 posted on 03/02/2007 9:42:40 PM PST by BradyLS (DO NOT FEED THE BEARS!)
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To: BunnySlippers
Golly, your equanimity is a real downer. This is FR...where yer guilty, guilty GUILTY!!!!
38 posted on 03/02/2007 9:42:55 PM PST by dasboot
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To: msnimje

39 posted on 03/02/2007 9:45:04 PM PST by HAL9000 (Get a Mac - The Ultimate FReeping Machine)
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To: HAL9000

One of the many reasons I love FR. LMAO!


40 posted on 03/02/2007 9:45:13 PM PST by manic4organic (Send a care package through USO today.)
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To: HAL9000

Priceless.


41 posted on 03/02/2007 9:50:26 PM PST by msnimje (If we have a choice of two PRO ABORTION candidates, this country is doomed.)
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To: Harpo Speaks
Soielberg is an "avid" Rockwell collector and he doesn't know it was stolen?

Hey, he's a liberal elite. He don't have to follow no friggin laws. Laws is for da little people.

42 posted on 03/02/2007 9:51:51 PM PST by GOPJ (If the United States gave California to Mexico, Mexicans would be sneaking into Nevada.)
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To: HAL9000

Bravo.


43 posted on 03/02/2007 9:52:14 PM PST by GraniteStateConservative (...He had committed no crime against America so I did not bring him here...-- Worst.President.Ever.)
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To: BunnySlippers
I don't know whether Spielberg sits around Googling anything

How about when he help build the ROCKWELL museum. Think he might have heard about it then?

Google or not, these guys research the art the buy especially when they are fans of the artist. Also when the insure the piece.
44 posted on 03/02/2007 9:53:24 PM PST by msnimje (If we have a choice of two PRO ABORTION candidates, this country is doomed.)
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To: HAL9000

LOL!


45 posted on 03/02/2007 9:53:57 PM PST by A knight without armor
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To: martin_fierro

Its not bad but it aint Picasso


46 posted on 03/02/2007 9:55:50 PM PST by woofie
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To: HAL9000

47 posted on 03/02/2007 9:59:02 PM PST by HAL9000 (Get a Mac - The Ultimate FReeping Machine)
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To: HAL9000

Bttt...


48 posted on 03/02/2007 9:59:28 PM PST by tubebender ( Everything east of the San Andreas fault will eventually plunge into the Atlantic Ocean...)
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To: BunnySlippers
I'm a Rockwell fan, and have studied him quite a bit. Read a book he wrote, hs biography, and have several books of his prints. I was unaware of the theft of this painting. Why would Spielberg deliberately buy a stolen painting when he's got the funds to buy the legitimate paintings?

He owns multiple Rockwell paintings, and purchased this one in 1989, well before the internet was in common use. At that time, the first attempt to index ftp sites, Archie, was just being developed. You couldn't Google things back then. I find it entirely plausible that he purchased the painting, and discovered it much later. That was a great spoof of ET stealing it, though.

49 posted on 03/02/2007 10:01:02 PM PST by Richard Kimball (Why yes, I do have a stupid picture for any occasion)
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To: HAL9000

That is wickedly funny.


50 posted on 03/02/2007 10:02:00 PM PST by Richard Kimball (Why yes, I do have a stupid picture for any occasion)
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