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ART THEFT: An Odd Compliment

2009 December 17
by R.L. Gibson

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Click Here to see more of the work in the Pieces of Me series!Have you ever had a piece of artwork stolen? Me too…more than once. Within the past two weeks, “Sally,” part of a triptych called “Sue . Sally . Sara .” was stolen off a gallery wall.

I received both a phone message and an email from the Director of the organization and the Director of the gallery–frought with professionalism and concern. My response? “Stuff happens,” and “Hey, I take it as a compliment…I’m theft-worthy.”

For me, the theft poses questions like…“What was wrong with the other pieces in the triptych”…not “How could this happen.”

Be theft worthy!As a gallery owner and then director for many years, please take my advice on this one. Do not have a hysterical fit that reinforces the idea that all artists are crazy and irrational.

Yes, I understand that you may be attached to the artwork. “Sally” is a part of my masthead at, but you’ve got to let it go. Galleries and their owners and directors do the best they can; do me a favor, and give them a break. Most of them are insured.

Do you have a story of art theft and intrigue to share? Send me an email or leave a comment on this post. Have Happy Holidays!

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