Thursday, January 28, 2010

Stolen Art Watch, Group of Seven, Now Six !!!!

Local art club's Group of Seven work stolen art-theft.html#ixzz0dvIhXlr8

The local art club in Barrie, Ont., is reeling after discovering that its cherished painting by Group of Seven member A.J. Casson has been stolen.

Officers are investigating the theft of the Casson work House and Hills, which was reported stolen by the Barrie Art Club this week, police announced on Wednesday.

"Forensic police specialists have attended to the scene and processed the location for evidence," according to a police statement.

Barrie, about 90 kilometres north of Toronto, founded its art club in 1949. The non-profit organization maintains a small gallery, hosts exhibits and holds sessions with visiting artists.

Toronto-born Casson, who was the youngest member of the Group of Seven, visited the club in 1959 to conduct a painting workshop and demonstration. By the end of the session, he had completed an original work — described as a pastoral farm scene set against a stormy sky, which he titled House and Hills — and gifted the painting to the art club.

The work, appraised at $25,000 in 2002, has rarely been seen outside of the Barrie area and was a prized component of the club's approximately 20-piece art collection.

The group also owns a giclée — a type of high-quality, ink-jet printed duplicate of a fine art piece — of House and Hills and members initally believed it was the copy that had been stolen.

Though the club has enlisted an art expert to examine the version still at the club, president Shaaron Hayman-Howard told reporters that she believes the remaining artwork to be the giclée rather than the original.

Barrie police said they are "seeking the assistance of the public in regards to the location of [this] precious piece of Canadian art."

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Art Hostage Comments:

Darryl Vincent, Ray Hobin, Lawyer Michael Morse, all in the frame as the usual suspects.

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