FBI offers $20,000 reward for recovery of stolen Maine paintings

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon
FBI Offering $20,000 Reward for Recovery of Stolen Maine Paintings
The FBI is offering a $20,000 reward for tips leading to the recovery of two paintings by N.C. Wyeth stolen from a Maine collector two years ago in what officials on Tuesday called the most significant art theft in that state's history.

Six oil paintings by Wyeth, the patriarch of a line of painters known for Maine seascapes, were taken in May 2013 from the home of a prominent real estate developer in the state. The paintings were estimated to be worth up to tens of millions of dollars, officials said.

Four have been recovered in a Beverly Hills, California, pawn shop, Vincent Lisi, the special agent in charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Boston, told reporters.

"We're still continuing to look for the other two and we have reason to believe they are here in New England, possibly in the greater Boston area," Lisi said.

Three men have pleaded guilty in federal courts in Maine and California to charges of trafficking in stolen goods for transporting the paintings. Lisi declined to say if any of the three were regarded as suspects in the theft.

5 PHOTOS
Stolen Wyeth paintings
See Gallery
FBI offers $20,000 reward for recovery of stolen Maine paintings
LOS ANGELES, CALIF. -- TUESDAY, AUGUST 18, 2015: Beverly Hills detective Michele Fieler, left, and FBI assistant director in charge David Bowdich, right, during press conference to announce the FBI is offering a reward of up to $20,000 to anyone who can provide information leading to the recovery of the two N.C. Wyeth paintings at the Federal Building in Los Angeles, Calif., on Aug. 18, 2015. (Photo by Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CALIF. -- TUESDAY, AUGUST 18, 2015: FBI special agent Elizabeth Rivas, center, with recovered N.C. Wyeth paintings 'The Duel', left, and 'John Brimblecombe', right, listens during press conference to announce the FBI is offering a reward of up to $20,000 to anyone who can provide information leading to the recovery of the two N.C. Wyeth paintings at the Federal Building in Los Angeles, Calif., on Aug. 18, 2015. (Photo by Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CALIF. -- TUESDAY, AUGUST 18, 2015: A photographer takes a closeup look at recovered N.C. Wyeth paintings 'The Duel', left, and 'John Brimblecombe', right, before a during press conference to announce the FBI is offering a reward of up to $20,000 to anyone who can provide information leading to the recovery of the two N.C. Wyeth paintings at the Federal Building in Los Angeles, Calif., on Aug. 18, 2015. (Photo by Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
Michael's Knife, left, and The Unwrit Dogma paintings by N.C. Wyeth are displayed during an FBI news conference in Los Angeles on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015 to announce in the investigation into the theft of valuable art stolen in 2013. The FBI is offering a reward of up to $20,000 for help in finding two N.C. Wyeth paintings stolen from a home in Portland, Maine. Four were recovered from a pawn shop in Beverly Hills, California, in December, and are estimated to be worth up to $2 million. But the remaining two were never found. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION

The paintings were stolen from a Portland, Maine, apartment that their owner had been using to store them, said Michael Sauschuck, Portland's chief of police.

Born in Needham, Massachusetts, in 1882, Wyeth got his start as an illustrator of books and magazines. He gained acclaim for painting seascapes after settling in Port Clyde, Maine, on the state's rugged mid-coast, where he lived until his death in 1945.

Three of Wyeth's five children, Andrew, Henriette and Carolyn, also became noted artists, as did his grandson, Jamie.

While the family is associated with Maine seascapes, the missing paintings are of other subjects. One, "The Encounter on Freshwater Cliff," features a swordsman dressed in Renaissance-style clothing standing over what appears to be a slain foe. The other, "Go, Dutton, and that right speedily," features men in medieval-looking attire peering out from a doorway.

It is not the only case of stolen artwork facing the Boston FBI office. The agency is still working to determine who stole $500 million worth of art from Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in a 1990 theft that stands as the largest art heist in U.S. history.

(Reporting by Scott Malone; Editing by Lisa Lambert and Mohammad Zargham)

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

From Our Partners