NBC 10 Philadelphia’s Deanna Durante has done the most comprehensive reporting to date on what looks like an 18th century painting of an unknown man which quite literally walked OUT of a FedEx location in Exton. I am guessing the one on Creamery Way since they said not normally open to street traffic? Anyway the news says “FedEx Ground location” and it’s West Whiteland Police asking for the public’s help, so I am guessing this is the location still?
So Downingtown Auction House? I know it’s got to be whom I am thinking of and they are wonderful and this is not them. They have been around, and do lots of American and portraits. This painting was shipped from Beverly Hills, CA I am told by a woman who used auctioneers in the past. That makes me wonder if she is an ex-Chester County native? An ex-pat so to speak? That is what I hypothesize, right or wrong.
Things that strike me as odd include: do we know the subject of the portrait or the painter? NBC 10 Reporter Deanna Durante’s report indicated other authorities perhaps getting involved who deal in art theft? And possibly being listed on a website called Art Loss Registry.
I do not pretend to know much about 18th century portrait painters, but as far as auctioning something, often people will send stuff to auction where they think they have a market. So I wonder if that is in part why a Downingtown, PA auction house was chosen? Could this painting have regional historical interest? This is of course why my inner Nancy Drew wishes authorities would release more information on the painting. Perhaps if we knew more about the painting, we could know more about why it was stolen, unless it was just a crime of opportunity perhaps originating in California and now whomever is stuck with a hot potato? What are authorities in California saying, for example?
So West Whiteland PD says it shipped from Beverly Hills, CA? If you Google there are 3 active Beverly Hills FedEx locations, or so I discovered. Maybe I am wrong, I don’t know. I am not exactly an expert on Beverly Hills.
So, it was prepared by a business in California and shipped FedEx ground? You would need someone to expertly crate it and ship it, right? I know FedEx can do that, I have done that through the FedEx in Malvern. But one thing about the FedEx in Malvern. A couple of times I have missed a delivery and had to go there to pick it up. I have had to show ID and so forth, so I am still confused as to WHY the person at FedEx in Exton released the painting?
I will note, that I do NOT believe UPS will let you change where something is delivered to once it is shipped, but someone will have to verify that. No clue about USPS because I do not see them as an avenue of shipping for art, do you? Again, maybe I am wrong.
Deanna Durante’s report mentions the painting may have been re-frames and may have “L Parks” on the back of it. It was packed and shipped at a FedEx in Beverly Hills. Christie’s Auctions actually has an article about how the BACK of a painting can tell as much of a story as the subject and painter of a painting.
I am kind of fascinated that I can’t find any media in the Los Angeles area talking about this yet. Maybe it will end up just stealing for stealing, but maybe it is because of whomever painted the painting or whom the subject was?
Doesn’t it seem this is a total FedEx thing? After all, has FedEx piped up about this at all? So FedEx is this an “inside job” that started in Los Angeles or Beverly Hills?
Police say this painting was taken Friday, January 27, 2023 at 7:15 A.M. Since the public has only recently heard of this can we say the poor lady who owned it exhausted all avenues with FedEx? Yes, I know, I am becoming repetitive. I am just fascinated by this, as are lots of people.
If you see the painting, please call police. Or wouldn’t it be nice if the thief just RETURNED the painting?