The Thief Collector
TUESDAY, MAY 30 AT 7:30PM
Regular Admission Prices
Co-presented by UA Museum of Art
Don’t miss this one-night-only screening of the quirky new documentary about the theft of Willem de Kooning’s “Woman-Ochre” painting from the University of Arizona Museum of Art, starring Glen Howerton (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia)!
Featuring an introduction by producer Caryn Capotosto, and a post-film panel discussion with special guests Dave Van Auker and Buck Burns, co-owners of Manzanita Ridge Furniture and Antiques in Silver City, NM; Olivia Miller, UAMA Director & Curator of Exhibitions; Kristen Schmidt, UAMA Registrar/Caretaker of the Collection; and Brian Seastone, Chief of the UAPD when the painting was recovered in 2017.
Who stole Willem de Kooning’s “Woman-Ochre”? For 32 years, the theft of the abstract expressionist oil painting confounded the art community. Then valued at $400,000, it hung at the University of Arizona Museum of Art, and on Thanksgiving Day 1985, a couple calmly entered and cut it from its frame. Despite law enforcement’s best efforts, it wasn’t recovered — until New Mexico antique dealers inconspicuously acquired it in an estate sale, retrieving it from Jerry and Rita Alter’s bedroom wall in 2017. The discovery sparked an exuberant celebration and an unresolvable investigation into the couple. Who were the Alters? Were they the quiet retired teachers that family and friends described, or was something more sinister hiding behind an unassuming façade? This highly stylized true crime documentary unravels the mystery behind the brazen art heist and the enigmatic couple thought responsible. Featuring playful reenactments starring Glenn Howerton (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) and Sarah Minnich (How to Blow Up a Pipeline), this fun, quirky documentary keeps viewers guessing until its stranger-than-fiction conclusion. (Dir. by Allison Otto, 2022, USA, 96 mins., Not Rated)