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The Thief Collector

Reviewed by Nichole D.

In 1985, Willem de Kooning’s “Woman Ochre,” one of the most valuable paintings of the 20 th century,
was cut from its frame at the University of Arizona Museum of Art. 32 years later, the painting was
found hanging in a New Mexico home.
Jerry and Rita Alter were the nicest couple and completely in love with each other. After their passing,
their nephew became executor of their estate. He had hired a local antiques dealer to come and
evaluate the artwork inside and outside the home. Behind a bedroom door was an unusual piece of art
that turned out to be a stolen 30 years before.
Who were Jerry and Rita Alter really? Why did they have this stolen painting in their home?

Available on DVD or to stream through Hoopla.

Recommended reading: The Art Thief by Michael Finkel

Posted in: Nonfiction