The Clark presents In Pursuit of the Priceless: Tales from the FBI's Real Indiana Jones, a free lecture by former FBI Special Agent and bestselling author Robert Wittman

For Immediate Release

March 15, 2011

WILLIAMSTOWN, MA—As part of the Missing Masterpieces lecture series, the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute presents In Pursuit of the Priceless: Tales from the FBI's Real Indiana Jones, a free lecture by former FBI Special Agent and bestselling author Robert K. Wittman, on Sunday, April 3 at 3:00 pm. Named “a living legend” by The Wall Street Journal and “the most famous art detective in the world” by The London Times, Wittman will base his lecture on his critically acclaimed book, Priceless, “a spellbinding narrative of an FBI agent’s journey into the crazy murk of what is perhaps the most fascinating criminal activity of all, high-stakes art theft into the millions upon millions” (New York Times bestselling author Buzz Bissinger).

In this special lecture, Wittman will share the stories behind his recoveries of priceless art and antiquities, including the 2,000-year-old golden armor that was looted from the Royal Tomb of the Lord of Sipan in Peru, the Rodin sculpture that inspired the Impressionist movement, the eagle-feather headdress worn by Native American Apache medicine man Geronimo during his final Pow-Wow, the rare Civil War battle flag carried into battle by one of the nation’s first African-American regiments, and an original copy of the Bill of Rights that was stolen by a Union soldier in 1865. During his extensive international work, often undercover, Wittman rescued paintings by Rockwell, Pissarro, Goya, Monet, and Picasso, including Rembrandt’s 1630 “Self-Portrait,” valued at $36 million. By the FBI’s accounting, Wittman saved hundreds of millions of dollars worth of art and antiquities and, through his literary work, has revealed “the art world’s underbelly as it has never been seen, through the eyes of an undercover agent whose investigative acumen is matched only by his art-history chops” (New York Times bestseller author Benjamin Wallace).

The son of an antique dealer, Robert K. Wittman joined the FBI as a Special Agent in 1988 and was assigned to the Philadelphia Field Division. As a result of specialized training in art, antiques, jewelry and gem identification, he served as the FBI’s investigative expert in this field. During his 20-year career with the FBI he recovered more that $225 million worth of stolen art and cultural property resulting in the prosecution and conviction of numerous individuals. In 2005, he was instrumental in the creation of the FBI’s rapid deployment Art Crime Team. He was named as the ACT’s Senior Investigator and instructed the team members in how to conduct cultural property investigations. He has represented the United States around the world conducting investigations and instructing international police and museums in investigation, recovery, and security techniques.

The Missing Masterpieces lecture series is sponsored by the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies.

The Clark is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts. The galleries are open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm (daily in July and August). Admission is $15 June 1 through October 31. Admission is free for children 18 and younger, members, and students with valid ID. Admission is free November through May. For more information, call 413 458 2303 or visit clarkart.edu.

Calendar Listing

April 3: As part of the Missing Masterpieces lecture series, the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute presents In Pursuit of the Priceless: Tales from the FBI's Real Indiana Jones, a free lecture by former FBI Special Agent and bestselling author Robert K. Wittman, on Sunday, April 3 at 3:00 pm. Named “a living legend” by The Wall Street Journal and “the most famous art detective in the world” by The London Times, Wittman will base his lecture on his critically acclaimed book, Priceless, “a spellbinding narrative of an FBI agent’s journey into the crazy murk of what is perhaps the most fascinating criminal activity of all, high-stakes art theft into the millions upon millions” (New York Times bestselling author Buzz Bissinger). The Missing Masterpieces lecture series is sponsored by the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies. The Clark, 225 South Street, Williamstown, Massachusetts, 413 458 2303, clarkart.edu.

Contact:
pr@clarkart.edu

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