Five paintings collectively worth more than $400,000 were stolen from a locked truck in Boulder, Colorado, on December 14. The FBI has joined the Boulder Police Department in seeking the return of the works, which were being transported from Los Angeles to locations in New Mexico and Colorado by an art-moving company. Employees driving the truck containing the paintings left the vehicle overnight in the parking lot of a hotel in the 5300 block of South Boulder Road. The following morning, they discovered a padlock cut and the works and some tools missing.
The purloined paintings include Elaine de Kooning’s Untitled (Madrid Series #3), n.d., a small work depicting a bullfight, and Jane Freilicher’s Burnett’s Barn, 1963, a bucolic farm scene. Also taken were Eanger Irving Couse’s Taos Pueblo at Night, n.d.; Ernest Marin Hennings’s Laguna Pueblo, n.d.; and Joseph Henry Sharp’s View of the Taos Pueblo, n.d.
The paintings by Couse, Hennings, and Sharp were all sold by auction house Bonhams in Los Angeles this past November as part of a sale of works in the collection of G. Andrew Bjurman. The de Kooning was en route to a Colorado couple, who had also purchased one of the other stolen paintings.
“My reaction was fury. I was so upset that they had been taken,” Colleen Fanning, an art adviser to the couple told Channel 9 News. “We were shocked and appalled and had no idea that something like this could even happen.”
Anyone having information on the works’ whereabouts is encouraged to call call Detective R. Montano-Banda at 303-441-1906 and reference case No. 22-12364.