“I remember standing on a street corner with the black painter Beauford Delaney down in the Village, waiting for the light to change, and he pointed down and said, “Look.” I looked and all I saw was water. And he said, “Look again,” which I did, and I saw oil on the water and the city reflected in the puddle. It was a great revelation to me. I can’t explain it. He taught me how to see, and how to trust what I saw. Painters have often taught writers how to see. And once you’ve had that experience, you see differently.” James Baldwin, in a 1984 Paris Review interview
A Yorkshire Lane in November, 1873, John Atkinson Grimshaw
German loot stored in church at Ellingen, Germany found by troops of the U.S. Third Army.
Durer engraving, found among other art treasures at Merker
An unknown Rembrant recovered safe in Munich
Twenty-five years ago this month, two thieves dressed as police officers tricked their way into the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston and stole 13 important works of art.
In 81 minutes, they cut the 1.5 metre tall Sea of Galilee painting by Rembrandt out of its frame, along with precious art from Manet, Vermeer and Degas.
Pulitzer Prize winning writer Stephen Kurkjian has written a book on the crime, Master Thieves: The Boston Gangsters Who Pulled Off the World's Greatest Art Heist.
"It's a disgrace that this crime has not been solved," Mr Kurkijan says.
When the buzzer rang at 1.24am at the museum, the guard saw two men in police uniforms and let them in.
They asked him to step away from his desk and he complied.
"[The guard's] favourite band, the Grateful Dead, was playing the following day," Mr Kurkjian says.
"He desperately wanted to go to that concert. He knew if he did not comply with what the men who he presumed were police said, he would be arrested and he would miss that concert."
The guard and the only other man on duty were tied up and the thieves went to work, slashing works from their frames and breaking glass.
"Did they know what they were looking for? Yes," Mr Kurkjian says.
"They were not collecting commissioned art work to order like say Dr. No in a James Bond movie. This is the work of thugs. That gives me an idea as to the kind of people who made their way into the museum."
Mr Kurkjian has spent 20 years researching the heist, and says he discovered a link with organized crime in Boston.
He says Boston gang leaders believed they could use the masterpieces to negotiate with the FBI.
"It made sense that if you get artwork and the FBI wants it dearly enough to get it back, they will do business with you," says Mr Kurkjian.
After 25 years, and a longstanding $5 million reward, none of the artwork has ever been recovered.
"It's not common knowledge who pulled off this score," according to Mr Kurkjian.
"My sense is the people who did this got scared they were going to get arrested and most of them got killed before they could say what happened to it."
Empty frames still hang where the Rembrandt and Vermeer once graced the museum walls.
Mr Kurkjian is convinced the paintings would one day return to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.
"I do believe there are members of the bad guy's family who know pieces of the puzzle and if those people can be appealed to, it can be recovered. This artwork is our collective treasure. It belongs to all of us."
BOSTON (MyFoxBoston.com) -- Wednesday marked the 25th anniversary of the heist from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Priceless artwork was taken right out of their frames 25 years ago and still have not been tracked down.
On March 18, 1990, 13 pieces, valued at $500 million, were stolen. The most famous piece taken was Rembrandt's only seascape, "Storm on the Sea of Galilee."
The FBI says that two men dressed as police officers subdued two guards and had their run of the Gardner Museum for 81 minutes. FOX25's Bob Ward broke international news last May that the FBI had confirmed sightings of at least some of the stolen artwork back in 2000, 10 years after the heist.
The FBI told FOX25 that organized crime figure Carmelo Merlino once told an FBI informant that he planned on returning the Rembrandt masterpiece for the reward money, but Merlino then ended up busted for other crimes and died in prison.
FBI Agent Geoff Kelly told FOX25 that the Merlino lead took them down a path of organized crime figures in Connecticut and Philadelphia, leading investigators to believe at least some of the paintings have been offered for sale in Philadelphia. Investigators believe they're on the right track to finding the paintings.
On the anniversary of the heist, the FBI reminded the public that they still need help in tracking down the stolen artwork, A $5 million reward and immunity has been offered in order to recover the 13 works of art worth a half-billion dollars.