A variety of artists, scholars, and curators speak each year at the museum.
  • A variety of artists, scholars, and curators speak each year at the museum.

Stolen Art, Heroic Recoveries Lecture Series

Sold out

Destruction and theft have left scars on the history of art. But amidst crime and war, heroes step up to save the world's treasures. Discover fascinating true stories of stolen art safely recovered and priceless masterpieces valiantly protected from two renowned experts on the subject.

Robert Wittman

Robert Wittman
Wednesday, October 16, 6:30 p.m. Gartner Auditorium.
Presented by the FBI Citizen’s Academy of Cleveland and Garth’s Auctions, Inc.

Renowned art investigator and founder of the FBI’s National Art Crime Team Robert K. Wittman recovered over $300 million worth of stolen art and cultural patrimony during his twenty-year career, including one of the fourteen original copies of the Bill of Rights, Geronimo’s war bonnet, and a Rembrandt self-portrait from the Swedish National Museum. After retiring from the FBI in 2008, he penned the best-selling memoir Priceless: How I Went Undercover to Rescue the World’s Stolen Treasures, published in 2010. Wittman will discuss some of his cases and show actual video footage of sting operations, and discuss career paths in the field of investigating and protecting against art crime. Join us for a reception at 6:00 PM preceding the talk. Book signing to follow.

$30/$25 CMA members.



Robert Edsel

Robert Edsel
Wednesday, November 6, 6:30 p.m. Gartner Auditorium.
Presented by the Painting and Drawing Society of the Cleveland Museum of Art

How did so much of the art and architecture of Europe escape destruction amidst the devastation of World War II? Robert M. Edsel, author of The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History, Rescuing Da Vinci, and most recently Saving Italy: The Race to Rescue a Nation’s Treasures from the Nazis, has dedicated over a decade and a half to answering this very question. A cinematic adaptation of The Monuments Men, starring George Clooney, will also be released in February. Edsel will discuss his research into the amazing true stories of the Monuments Men, celebrating this group of unsung heroes who saved the world’s greatest art and cultural treasures from the ravages of war. Book signing to follow.

$30/$25 CMA members.


See both lectures and save! $50/$40 CMA members. Call (216) 421-7350 to register.

A limited number of student tickets for each lecture are available for $5, in person at the Ticket Desk only. Must show current student ID.