Art Theft And Security Expert
Anthony M. Amore is an expert in security matters and the author of The Woman Who Stole Vermeer: The True Story of Rose Dugdale and the Russborough House Art Heist (Pegasus, 2020). The book has received rave reviews. Publisher’s Weekly called it “an engrossing account” that “keeps the reader turning the pages.” In a starred review, Library Journal called it “A captivating book that will entertain fans across genres with its seamless blend of true crime, biography, and art history.” And Kirkus said it is “a captivating, detail-rich biography of a “criminal legend.” It was an Amazon.com editor’s choice in True Crime for 2020.
His previous book was The Art of the Con: The Most Notorious Fakes, Frauds, and Forgeries in the Art World (St. Martin’s Press, 2015), which Kirkus called “an engrossing read about brazen, artful scams.” He’s also the co-author of Stealing Rembrandts: The Untold Stories of Notorious Art Heists (Palgrave, 2011), which received a great deal of critical acclaim and was a Wall Street Journal True Crime Best Seller. It was also one of Amazon.com’s editor’s top crime books for 2015.
He is much in demand as a speaker and lecturer on the topic of art theft and security, and has appeared on numerous national and international television and radio programs.
Before joining the Gardner Museum in 2005, Amore logged 15 years of national security, intelligence and crisis management experience with two federal government agencies: the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Transportation Security Administration (TSA), where he helped rebuild security at Logan International Airport after the attacks of 9/11. He was also a Special Agent with the Federal Aviation Administration for whom he was the lead agent responding to the Shoe Bomber attack.
Amore was most recently featured in the NPR/Boston Globe podcast series Last Seen, which garnered more than 10 million downloads.
Amore has earned both a Master of Public Administration and a Certificate of
Mastery in National Security from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He offers his expertise on security and cultural property protection via his Big Security newsletter on Substack and was also a columnist for the Boston Herald, writing on transportation security matters.
High-value art heists are exclusively the work of men. But as with all things, there is an outlier—Rose Dugdale. Amore tells the tale of her extraordinary life, from her privileged, idyllic childhood and presentation to Queen Elizabeth II, and education at Oxford to her training in Castro’s Cuba, her dedication to Irish Republicanism, and direct action against her own motherland in an effort to fight the British occupation of Northern Ireland. Along the way, he speaks about the importance of Vermeer as well as Dugdale’s terrorist activities and, finally, her theft of 19 works from the Russborough House in Ireland—the biggest art theft of its day. And Amore presents an argument that she might have been the force behind a separate Vermeer theft in 1974, a crime that remains unsolved today.
Art theft is a multi-billion dollar per year illicit industry, and the world’s most significant heists share one thing in common: the priceless works of Rembrandt. The great Dutch Master’s paintings are known for their value by everyone, from high school dropouts to museum curators. While Hollywood has portrayed the theft of high-value paintings as the work of dashing, likeable thieves working to steal art for evil, reclusive geniuses, in fact that’s nothing like the reality of art theft. Instead, it’s much more interesting. Amore takes his audience behind the scenes of the most notorious of these heists, telling the true story of art crime from the conception of the crime to the recovery of the art.
The famed former director of the Metropolitan Museum, Thomas Hoving, famously said that 40% of the art hanging on the walls of the museums and galleries of the world are fakes. Art forgery scandals continue to dominate the pages of the industry’s newspapers and, in recent years, have led to the closing of some of the world’s oldest and most esteemed galleries. Though talented copyists are involved in the most famous scandals, Amore describes how the true art in art scams is not on the canvas but in the con itself.
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