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2017 WAAC - Woman-Ochre, A Stolen de Kooning Painting Comes Home


2017 WAAC - Woman-Ochre, A Stolen de Kooning Painting Comes Home

Video Channel: J.Willard Marriott Library

Woman-Ochre, A Stolen de Kooning Painting Comes Home.
Nancy Odegaard, Arizona State Museum-University of Arizona, Tucson

On Nov. 29, 1985, a Willem de Kooning painting, "Woman-Ochre," was stolen from the University of Arizona Museum of Art. Decades later, on August 3, 2017, a routine Thursday afternoon at the University of Arizona Museum of Art, staffers were preparing for next season's exhibitions when the phone rang. Arrangements for its quick return to Tucson from Silver City, New Mexico followed. The painting was unpacked and examined the following Wednesday. The nature of the theft, the discovery, the return, and the preliminary examination for authentication provide an interesting story that highlights the importance of a conservator.

Nancy Odegaard Biography
Nancy Odegaard PhD, FAIC, FIIC is Conservator and Head of the Preservation Division at the Arizona State Museum, University of Arizona in Tucson. She is also a Professor in the Materials Science & Engineering Department,
the School of Anthropology, and Drachman Institute at the University of Arizona. She holds a PhD in Resource, Environment, & Heritage Science from the University of Canberra, a MA degree in museum studies and anthropology from George Washington University and an advanced certificate in ethnographic and archaeological conservation from the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution. Her research with materials characterization tests, pesticide residue detection and removal, human remains, object handling, ceramics, and basketry has resulted in publications that are widely used.

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