Last Seen is a Podcast About an Art Heist

Last Seen is a podcast from WBUR and The Boston Globe. It is a true crime podcast about the most valuable – and confounding – art heist in history: the theft of 13 irreplaceable artworks from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston.

WBUR and The Boston Globe have joined forces to ask why, 28 years later, this still unsolved crime exerts its irresistible pull. With a $10 million reward on offer, how is it that not even a single piece in a haul estimated to be worth half a billion dollars has surfaced? Gone in 81 minutes, the Gardner loot – and the thieves who made off with it – remain at large.

Last Seen has first-ever interviews, unprecedented access, and over a year of investigative reporting. This podcast takes you inside the ongoing efforts to bring back the jewels of the Gardner collection.

There have been several true-crime podcasts, some of which have become extremely popular. Last Seen is the first I have heard of that focuses on an art heist. I think this podcast will attract the attention of those who enjoy true-crime podcasts and also those who are interested in art history.

Isabella Stewart Gardner was born in New York City on April 14, 1840. In 1860, at the age of twenty, she married Jack Gardner. They moved to Boston and settled into a house that was a wedding gift from Isabella’s father. Isabella and Jack visited Venice, and this inspired Isabella to create an art museum in Boston.

The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum has some information about the theft of the paintings. It took place on March 18, 1990. The thieves took 13 pieces of art including works by Rembrandt, Vermeer, Manet, and Degas. It only took them 81 minutes. You can view images of the stolen works of art on the museum website.