In a kind of meta project, French artist Sophie Calle used the theft as the basis for her work, Last Seen. Shortly after the robbery, she interviewed museum staff and asked them to reminisce about the missing pieces. Using their recollections, Calle wrote text and included photos to create her exhibit, which is partly about the stolen art, but also about loss and other more universal themes. Last Seen has been shown at museums around the world and will come full meta circle to the Gardner Museum.
In honor of the missing pieces, which include works by Rembrandt and Degas and is valued at $500 million, the museum re-hung the original, empty frames in the galleries where the art was once displayed. It is an eerie and potent reminder of the crime and the absent objects. The addition of Last Seen should make them even more eerie and their absence even more poignant.
October 24 through March 3, 2014
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
280 The Fenway, Boston
Photo: Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.