The Thief Collector
Director Allison Otto explores the fascinating story of the theft and recovery of Willem de Kooning’s “Woman Ochre” painting. She follows the journey of Rita and Jerry Alter, two teachers who walked into a museum in 1985 and left with the rolled-up artwork, now worth $160m. After remaining missing for over thirty years, the painting was found in a small New Mexico town by three honest house clearance men who bought it with the estate’s household contents. Through interviews and expert analysis, the entertaining and funny film delves into the thieves’ motives, the methods used to recover the painting, and the theft’s lasting impact on the art world.
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