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Laura Evans

The Atlas of Art Crime

Thefts, Vandalism and Forgeries

The Atlas of Art Crime
£ 27.50 (* recommended retail price)

Mapping out the world’s most infamous art thefts, forgeries, and acts of vandalism, this unique and visually striking reference illuminates the prevalence, motivations, and consequences of art crime in every corner of the globe.

Art history is filled with stories of art crime—but the depth and breadth of these incidents is not generally understood. This first book of its kind illustrates and contextualizes seventy five incidents in a unique format that allows readers to visualize the geography of art crime from the past two centuries. Divided into sections on thefts, vandalism, and forgeries, each crime is profiled with an absorbing narrative and images of the artworks, perpetrators, and scenes of the crime, alongside a map of where it took place. Additional sidebars feature compelling information about the artist and/or the subjects of the work of art. Including renowned crimes such as the 1911 theft of the Mona Lisa from the Louvre, the 1975 attack on Rembrandt’s Night Watch at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, and Han van Meegeren’s forgery of Vermeer’s Supper at Emmaus in 1936, this book also includes lesser known incidents: the remarkably unnoticed theft of a two-foot high statue weighting fifty pounds; a young couple who mistook an exhibition canvas displayed with the paint cans used to create it for an interactive piece; and a Chinese librarian who stole one hundred forty-three paintings by famous Chinese artists and replaced them with his own fakes. Filled with intrigue, controversies, and power dynamics, this is a captivating exploration of the darker side of art history.

Hardcover, 224 pages, 19,0 x 24,6 cm, 7.5 x 9.7 in, 200 color illustrations
ISBN: 978-3-7913-7711-7
Release date:
US September 10, 2024
UK September 03, 2024


Laura Evans

Laura Evans is a Distinguished Teaching Professor and the Coordinator of the Art Museum Education Certificate at the University of North Texas, Denton. She teaches about art museums, art interpretation, art appreciation, and art crime, and has published widely in journals and books. She has worked at art museums throughout the world and has also collaborated with museums around the United States to provide museology trainings.

More about the author