As for the Kingsland paintings, Wynne continues to look for the rightful owners. The caper grew more curious when, after Kingsland's death, a mover hired by New York State to haul the collection from Kingsland's apartment to a warehouse stole two Picasso sketches, each valued at $30,000. "Those works had been stolen themselves. They had been stolen in the '60s and they were in Kingsland's apartment, and then the movers came, and then they were stolen again," says Wynne. After some sleuthing, agents learned that a Manhattan-based art broker had tried to sell one of the drawings, and law enforcement eventually recovered the works from the mover's mother-in-law. And so, at least for now, there's one art world mystery fewer waiting to be solved.
Ulrich Boser, a former U.S. News reporter, is the author of "The Gardner Heist: The True Story of the World's Largest Unsolved Art Theft."