Paintings stolen from Miller Library
Eight pieces of artwork that hung in Miller went missing over the weekend of Dec. 3-4.
Five of the pieces hung in the building’s history wing on the second floor. John J. and Cornelia V. Gibson Professor of History Elizabeth Leonard became aware of the situation upon arriving to her office at 8 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 5. She then sent an e-mail to all history majors and her department colleagues to alert them of the incident. She also informed Security, Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students James Terhune, Assistant Vice President and Senior Associate Dean Barbara Moore and Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty Lori Kletzer.
According to the e-mail, some of the pieces were personal items that Leonard and other faculty members in the History Department had offered to display when the department could not afford to buy artwork. “Like my colleagues, I am very sad to lose my pictures, some of which I brought back from my years as an adolescent living in Japan or have had since I was in college myself,” Leonard wrote.
At this point, Leonard does not know if the artwork will be replaced. “It seems like a bad idea…because anything new we put up might get stolen again,” she said. “I personally removed the two remaining pieces that were mine and have put them in my office, which I can lock at night.”
On Monday morning, Miller Faculty Administrative Secretary Sherry Berard, who works in the History Department, asked Johanna Clift, the administrative secretary in the English Department, if they were missing any pieces.
According to Clift, two pictures went missing from the department wing, also on the second floor, over the weekend. One, approximately 18 by 30 inches in size and in a gold frame with glass, “was a picture of butterfly wings that had been made into the alphabet,” Clift said. The other “was a full size poster of James Joyce’s Dublin. This was in a plastic frame that was broken on one corner.” An English professor who came in on Saturday afternoon had become aware of the incident and e-mailed the department wondering what had happened, Clift said.
One additional picture, “a silver framed print of a Georgia O’Keeffe painting,” went missing from the third floor of Miller outside classroom 319, Clift said. In her e-mail, Leonard also cited incidents of artwork missing from the Lovejoy Building.
Clift noted that “these hallways [in Miller] are open at all times. All pictures are hung on hooks. They have been here for three years without incident.”
Leonard encourages anyone with information to come forward to her or Berard.