Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Museum of the Missing: A History of Art Theft Hardcover – October 28, 2006


See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$16.83 $7.11
Take%20an%20Extra%2030%25%20Off%20Any%20Book

Special Offers and Product Promotions

  • Take an Extra 30% Off Any Book: Use promo code HOLIDAY30 at checkout to get an extra 30% off any book for a limited time. Excludes Kindle eBooks and Audible Audiobooks. Restrictions apply. Learn more.


NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Year
Best Books of 2014
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2014's Best Books of the Year in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Sterling; First Printing edition (October 28, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1895892791
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402728297
  • ASIN: 1402728298
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 8.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #379,620 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

There's nothing as tempting to a thief as a work of art, it would seem, but it wasn't always so. Although Houpt shows how stealing art has been a sport of rulers (notably Napoleon and Hitler) for centuries, he traces the current epidemic of art theft to the inflation of auction prices that began in 1958 and continues to this day. When houses like Sotheby's trumpet their sales records--$104 million for a Picasso!--what's a self-respecting art thief to do? In this brief and lively book, Houpt laments the transformation of art into an international commodity and sketches a series of quick portraits of famous latter-day art thieves and the intrepid detectives who try to catch them. In a few cases, Houpt has already been outpaced by events. Munch's The Scream, stolen from a Norwegian museum in 2004, was recently recovered, and the Picasso sales record was eclipsed this year by the sale of a Klimt (once looted by the Nazis) for a reported $135 million. Kevin Nance
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

About the Author

Simon Houpt is an art columnist and correspondent for The Globe and Mail whose writing has appeared in GQ and The New York Times. He lives in New York City. Julian Radcliffe is the chairman of the Art Loss Register, an organization that assists in art recovery around the world, and a member of the Order of the British Empire.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

A must for serious museum goers and art history aficionados.
Jane Smith
I work for a global insurance broker with an international art practice that insures many of the world's great museums.
R. Lacy
Furthermore, while the book was a very interesting read, and covered a variety of topics, it was very introductory.
AE

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By R. Lacy on March 30, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I work for a global insurance broker with an international art practice that insures many of the world's great museums. I am also an avid art collector. Unlike Christian and Doomjesse, I found this book very useful for the opposite reasons. Personally, I found the "breezy" style of writing a pleasant change from the scholarly style of most art books I read. This is a great overview that anyone can understand. The illustrations are wonderful. We need more books on art that entertain and perhaps, for the novice, stimulate further interest in a subject. While it is a valid criticism to say that this book is not a comprehensive history, I came away wanting to know more and I can talk to my associates in the art practice in a more educated manner.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
29 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Jesse S. Walker on November 13, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This is a nice beginner. It doesn't give an in-depth story of most crimes except the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum theft. The author seems mostly interested in paintings (though a quick mention of a few sculpture thefts is included). It barely covers any thefts in Africa, Asia (excluding Russia), or Latin America. So basically you're left with a beginners text on American and European museum thefts.

On the plus side it is well laid out with lots of pictures including some full page pictures of missing art. Overall, it's a pretty coffee table book that most people can easily read. I just wanted a little more depth.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jane Smith on September 16, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This is a book you will pick and and leaf through just for the art history if nothing else. What makes it so much more than just your average coffee table book is the little known details of famous art thieves and their craft. I loved the glimpse into the world of auction houses and collectors who are too rich to be famous in the usual sense. The subject matter is fascinating when presented in such a lucid and well organized manner. The illustrations are top-notch. A must for serious museum goers and art history aficionados.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By AE on November 5, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I read this book cover to cover in two days, as part of the research for a lecture series I am hosting. I found it interesting and generally informative, but rather broad.

While there is quite a lot of detail on specific cases, including the stories of art that was stolen and what happened to it, the information is relayed rather anecdotally, making referencing or research quite difficult. In my case, I found it helpful to take notes about these specific cases and record page numbers so I could find the information later. Specific cases weren't indexed or organized easily enough to find later).

Furthermore, while the book was a very interesting read, and covered a variety of topics, it was very introductory. Excepting the fact that there were plentiful details on the individual cases, the topics discussed were barely introduced before moving on to the next section.

I'd happily recommend this book to someone with passive interest in the topic or for someone seeking to gain a broad understanding, not for anyone with specific research interests!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dyslexic Bob on January 6, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This books seems to serve as the underlying notes for the novel and just published book, "The Art Thief", by Noah Charney, which is a very twisty and complicated "Who Done It" about multiple art thefts.

This one is an interesting read. However, I would leave "The Art Thief" on the shelf for someone else to steal.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Paperback
The large color photos are nice, especially one before-after set showing how badly theft damaged Rubens "Tarquinius and Lucretia" (1610).

However, I'm reading "Rape of Europa" by Lynn Nicholas, pretty much at the same time, and the similarity of phrases is disappointing. For example, compare

page 56 of MoM (published in 2006)
"Hitler had ordered the destruction of all infrastructure in the occupied countries as German troops retreated so that the Allies would find only a devastated wasteland."

with

page 316 of RoE (published in 1995)

"...in August 1944 Hitler had ordered all military installations, utilities, communications, archives, monuments, food stores, and transportation facilities destroyed as the German armies retreated, so that only a wasteland would await the Allies."

Ignoring the redundancy of "devastated wasteland," the two phrasings seem quite similar to me and therefore "Museum of the Missing" seems a bit of a re-hash. Yet the "Rape of Europa" is not included in the Selected Bibliography of "Museum of the Missing".

I agree with other reviewers of "Rape of Europa" that photos would have filled a need to see the works Nicholas describes so intriguingly. However, I also see why -- her book was quite a feat, and adding photos would have likely doubled the timeline for publication.

While "Museum of the Missing" has nice photos and some charming anecdotes, I get the uneasy feeling that they've been told elsewhere, better.

Sorry to be unfriendly!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again