Press Room

Missing Dürer and Rembrandt Prints Found!

by awilliams

PresRyanLaurenShott_Durer_RembrandtToday, the Boston Public Library announced that two missing pieces of artwork from the library’s 200,000 item Print Collection have been found. The missing Dürer and Rembrandt prints had been misfiled and were located by Conservation Officer Lauren Schott during an 8 week search of the BPL’s print stacks.

“We’re thrilled to have found these treasures right here at home,” said Library President Amy Ryan. “They were found safe and sound, simply misfiled. BPL is still committed to enhanced security and a full inventory, but today is a day of celebration for the entire team at BPL. The staff couldn’t be happier after hundreds of hours of searching. I want to thank the FBI, Boston Police Department, and US Attorney’s Office for their work throughout this period.”

“I was shocked to find the two prints, but it really was just luck of the draw. Anyone of the team that’s been looking for the Dürer and Rembrandt could have found them,” said Lauren Schott.

The Rembrandt and Dürer were found together in Row 14B, Bay 3 on Shelf 2, approximately 80 feet from where the items should have been filed.  Fourteen staff members searched 180,000 of the print stack’s 320,000 items (including 200,000 prints and drawings in the Print Collection and 120,000 chromolithographs), totaling 38 rows of the 60 rows of print stacks, or about 60% of the inventory. Nine offices, work rooms, and reading rooms had also been searched. The Dürer and Rembrandt have been refiled.

Specific information regarding the Dürer and Rembrandt prints:

  • Albrecht Dürer (German, 1471-1528).  Adam and Eve.  Engraving, 1504.  Estimated value, $600,000.
  • Rembrandt van Rijn (Dutch, 1606-1669).  Self Portrait with Plumed Cap and Lowered Sabre.  Etching, 1634.  Estimated value, $20,000-$30,000.

The Rembrandt is part of the Wiggin Collection gift of 1941, and the Albrecht Dürer is part of the Leo M. Friedman estate received in 1958.

About BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY

Boston Public Library has a Central Library, twenty-four branches, map center, business library, and a website filled with digital content and services. Established in 1848, the Boston Public Library has pioneered public library service in America. It was the first large free municipal library in the United States, the first public library to lend books, the first to have a branch library, and the first to have a children’s room. Each year, the Boston Public Library hosts thousands of programs and serves millions of people. All of its programs and exhibitions are free and open to the public. At the Boston Public Library, books are just the beginning. To learn more, visit bpl.org.

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7 Responses to “Missing Dürer and Rembrandt Prints Found!”

  1. Elizabeth Aguilo says:

    Congratulations! wonderful news!

  2. theszak says:

    a) Would it have anything to do with converting the paper Card Catalog to a Digital Catalog?… b) Why weren’t the backs of the Cards in the old Catalog photocopied with all the Librarians’ Annotations?… The old Card Catalog is as much a creative work as any great book. The old Annotations can provide additional clues.

  3. David says:

    Mazel tov!

  4. QB says:

    So what happens to the BPL pres that resigned??

  5. Ellyn O'Toole says:

    I don’t think Ann Prescott should resign. She seems to understand the workings of the very wonderful BPL better than the people who created a faux scandal and nearly destroyed her career. Don’t allow this essentially idiotic brouhaha to derail your life, Ms. Prescott.

  6. If it’s not where people can enjoy it there’s no value in it at all.to have something lock away is the same as it being lost.

  7. susan ardis says:

    I suggest this could be “just” a mistake but this is also how valuable books and prints are stolen. The thief (often internal miss shelves them a long way from their correct location–waits to see if they are missed and then remove them at the thief’s leisure. You might audit all your prints.