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Talk: Gentlemen Art Thieves and their Art

Tuesday 17 May 2022, 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

$25.00 – $30.00

We welcome back to the Friends Judge Arthur Tompkins! In this illustrated talk he will explore and trace the stubborn and recurring myth of the gentleman art thief, who steals masterpieces for solitary enjoyment in exotic hideaways: from Adam Worth, the original Napoleon of Crime, to James Bond’s first arch-villain Dr No, and finally Thomas Crown’s theft (and return) of Monet’s San Giorgio Maggiore at Dusk. And if such a mythical master thief did exist, which of the world’s greatest stolen (and still missing) artworks might be languishing in his hidden art collection?

Goya, Portrait of the Duke of Wellington. Reproduced courtesy of A.Tompkins

Arthur Tompkins is a District Court Judge based in Wellington.  He teaches the Art in War component course as part of the annual (but currently suspended due to Covid19) Graduate Certificate Program in Art Crime and Heritage Protection Studies, presented by the Association for Research into Crimes against Art in Amelia, Umbria, Italy, and has lectured around New Zealand and abroad on various aspects of art crime.

In 2018 his Plundering Beauty: An illustrated history of art crime in war, was published by Lund Humphries in London. He is also the editor of Art Crime and Its Prevention: A Handbook for Collectors and Art Professionals (Lund Humphries, London; 2016), and Provenance Research Today: Principles, Practice, Problems (Lund Humphries, London; 2020).

Feature image: Detail from: Monet’s San Giorgio Maggiore at dusk. Image provided and reproduce courtesy of A.Tompkins.


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Tuesday 17 May 2022
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
$25.00 – $30.00
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Te Huinga Centre, Level 3, Te Papa
55 Cable Street, Wellington
Wellington, 6011 New Zealand
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Friends of Te Papa
(04) 381 7051