THIS IS A ROBBERY: the world’s biggest art heist. Read All About It!

“She is not a woman, she is a locomotive — with a Pullman car attached.” — Henry James on Isabella Stewart Gardner

Many of you have no doubt already binge watched the new Netflix documentary This Is A Robbery: the world’s biggest art heist, which focuses on the 1990 theft of art from the Gardner Museum in Boston. Or you might have heard Jim Braude interview the filmmakers on WGBH. This got me to thinking of all the books that have already been written on the theft, on the museum, and on the life of Isabella Stewart Gardner. Thus, here is a reading list of all the titles in the library connected to the Gardner Museum in one way or another. I should mention that I have been devoted to the Gardner Museum ever since I first stepped through the doors when I was a high school student, long, long ago. When I was getting my library degree at Simmons College, I would often stop by the Gardner before heading to a class. There is really nothing that gives me more pleasure than seeing the annual hanging nasturtiums display which continues an annual tradition started by Isabella Stewart Gardner. 

If you would like to dive into the world of Isabella Stewart Gardner, her life, her museum, and the biggest art heist in Boston’s history, here is a collection of titles that covers it all. We’ve got a display up right now of all these titles, so stop by and take a look! (We even have a book club kit of The Art Forger, so your entire book club can read together!) And did I mention, we also have Museum Passes to the Gardner! (Be sure to call the library regarding the new way to redeem our museum passes if you are interested.)

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum: daring by design 
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum: a guide 
Eye of the Beholder: masterpieces from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
The Memory Palace of Isabella Stewart Gardner by Patricia Vigderman
Boston’s Apollo by Thomas McKeller and John Singer Sargent
Anders Zorn: a European artist seduces America edited by Oliver Tostmann (The first place I ever saw the art of Anders Zorn was at the Gardner, and I fell in love!)
Master Thieves: the Boston gangsters who pulled off the world’s greatest art heist by Stephen Kurkjian (Also available as an e-book via the Libby app.)
Stealing Rembrandts: the untold stories of notorious art heists by Anthony M. Amore and Tom Mashberg
The Gardner Heist: the true story of the world’s largest unsolved art theft by Ulrich Boser
Mrs. Jack: a biography of Isabella Stewart Gardner by Louise Hall Tharp
Sargent’s Women: four lives behind the canvas by Donna M. Lucey. Also available on CD.
The Art of Scandal: the life and times of Isabella Stewart Gardner by Douglass Shand-Tucci
Gondola Days: Isabella Stewart Gardner and the Palazzo Barbaro Circle by Elizabeth Anne McCauley, Alan Chong, Rosella Mamoli Zorzi, and Richard LIngner
Journeys East: Isabella Stewart Gardner and Asia by Alan Chong and Noriko Murai

And a couple of novels involving the Gardner Museum Heist:

The Therapist by William Nolan
The Art Forger by B. A. Shapiro (Also available on CD, and via the Libby app.)
The Docent by Tom Kenny


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