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Works by Famous American Artists Stolen from Santa Monica Home


Works by Famous American Artists Stolen from Santa Monica Home

Santa Monica Lookout
B e s t   l o c a l   s o u r c e   f o r   n e w s   a n d   i n f o r m a t i o n


Works by Famous American Artists Stolen from Santa Monica Home


Frank Gruber for Santa Monica City Council
Santa Monica Real Estate Company, Roque and Mark
Re-elect Robert Kronovet for Rent Control Board

Pico Business Improvement District

7th Annual Pico Festival
Sunday, October 28th


By Jorge Casuso

September 20, 2012 -- Santa Monica police are looking for information concerning a residential burglary that resulted in the theft of 13 art works, including some by the greatest artists of the 20th Century.

The works by such iconic artists as Jasper Johns, Joseph Cornell, Philip Guston and Piet Mondrian were among the more than $10 million worth of items stolen sometime between 3 p.m. last Wednesday and 8 p.m. Friday from a residence on the 500 block of 12th Street.

The stolen artwork (courtesy of the Santa Monica Police Department)

Police who responded to a call Friday also found that the victim's red 2010 Porsche Carrera 4S, which was parked in the garage, several expensive watches and wine also were stolen from the residence near the northern edge of the beachside city.

"The victim had just returned home from a trip and discovered that his residence had been burglarized," said Sgt. Richard Lewis, the police department spokesman.

The art works were "stolen from various rooms throughout the home," Lewis said.

The works included two boxes by Cornell, an eccentric American surrealist artist who filled his delicate glass-front boxes with found objects whose juxtaposition created whimsical visual poems.

The stolen items also included bold canvasses by such renown artists as Johns, Guston and Franz Kline, leading exponents of the Abstract Expressionist movement that dominated the Post World War II American art scene.

Also stolen was a painting by Richard Diebenkorn, who moved on from his Abstract Expressionist roots to create a body of later work in Santa Monica known as the Ocean Park paintings.

Other artists whose works were stolen were Mondrian, whose draftsman-like paintings of geometrical color boxes have become iconic 20th century works; Cy Twombly, known for large freely scribbled paintings that recall calligraphic graffiti, and Frank Stella, a painter and printmaker known for his stylized geometric works

The investigation is ongoing.

Anyone with information regarding the burglary or the suspects involved should contact Detective David Haro at 310.458.8432 or Sergeant Henry Ramirez at 310.458.8453 or the Santa Monica Police Department (24 hours) at 310.458-8495.

Those who wish to remain anonymous can call We-Tip at 1-800-78-CRIME (1-800-78-27643), or submit the tip online at and may become eligible for a reward of up to $1,000 if the information leads to an arrest and conviction.

Anonymous tipsters can also contact Crime Stoppers by either calling (800) 222-TIPS (8477) or by visiting their website at To text an anonymous tip to crime stoppers; please view their webpage for detailed instructions. If the information leads to an arrest, the tipster is eligible to receive a reward of as much as $1,000.

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