The Dover Public Library is pleased to welcome author Stephen Kurkjian, author of “Master
25 years after the famous art theft at Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Stephen Kurkjian, the principal reporter on the case for The Boston Globe, has written a gripping account of the still-unsolved heist. In “Master Thieves”, Kurkjian reveals how the two criminal gangs, battling for control of Boston’s underworld, knew of the museum’s poor security, and that one had a motive to pull off the theft: to fashion an exchange that would result in the release of its leader from federal prison. It is a case defined by superlatives - the largest art theft in history, carrying the world’s largest reward offer, and a longer time on the FBI’s list of biggest unsolved art crimes than any other save one.
A Boston native, Stephen Kurkjian spent nearly 40 years as an editor and reporter for The Boston Globe before retiring in 2007. During his career, he shared in three Pulitzer Prizes and won more than 20 regional and national reporting awards. Kurkjian graduated from Boston Latin School in 1962, majored in English Literature at Boston University, and earned his law degree from Suffolk University in 1970.
Kurkjian was a founding member of The Globe’s investigative Spotlight Team, and its editor from 1979-1986. In 1986, he was named chief of The Globe's Washington Bureau. He covered the Supreme Court, the Justice Department, and the Bush White House during the first war in Iraq.
Returning to Boston in the early 1990s, Kurkjian undertook investigative projects at The Globe including the clergy abuse scandal inside the Boston Archdiocese, the devastating fire at a Rhode Island nightclub that took the lives of 100 people, and the recovery of a Cezanne still life that was stolen from a Berkshires home in 1978 and later auctioned for $29 million. He has also written extensively about the Armenian Genocide, which his late father survived as a three year-old in 1915.
Kurkjian’s 2005 article about the theft of 13 pieces of artwork from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is regarded as the most complete account of the still-unsolved crime. “Master Thieves”, his book on the theft, was published by PublicAffairs last year and received critical praise from The New York Times, The Boston Globe, and The Washington Post. The book has been optioned to TriStar Studios and is currently being adapted into a screenplay.
This program is free and open to the public. For more information call the Library at 603-516-6050.