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Where Stolen Art Used to Be, Museum Now Displays Drawings of the Suspects

On the day after Thanksgiving in 1985, Willem de Kooning’s painting “Woman–Ochre” was stolen from the University of Arizona’s Museum of Art in Tucson. Thirty years later, the museum is far from over it.

Next to the empty frame that once displayed the piece are composite drawings of the two suspects police say were responsible for the heist. The alleged perpetrators were a man and woman who walked into the museum to commit the crime shortly after it opened. The woman, who appeared to be in her mid-50s, chatted up a security guard while the man, likely in his 20s, cut the $600,000 painting out of its frame.

Despite the eyewitness descriptions, local police had no luck in tracking down the thieves. The man had been seen wearing a mustache and glasses, possibly as a way to conceal his identity, and, according to police, the woman may also have been dressed in disguise.

The painting has been missing in action for the three decades since, but the museum hasn’t given up hope for its eventual return. Gina Compitello-Moore, the museum’s marketing director, says now is as good a time as any to draw attention to the heist because in the time since its disappearance, the painting might have changed hands—and now be in the possession of someone unaware of its illicit origins. "We have not given up hope about getting the painting back,” she told the Huffington Post. "By not having it, it's almost as if a member of our family is missing.”

An empty wooden frame once occupied by Willem de Kooning’s “Woman-Ochre” sits at the center of a gallery at the University of Arizona’s Museum of Art in Tucson.

Posted by Arizona Capitol Times on Monday, November 30, 2015

[h/t: Huffington Post]

Original image
Courtesy Chronicle Books
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Design
Inside This Pop-Up Book Are a Planetarium, a Speaker, a Decoder Ring, and More
Original image
Courtesy Chronicle Books

Designer Kelli Anderson's new book is for more than just reading. This Book Is a Planetarium is really a collection of paper gadgets. With each thick, card stock page you turn, another surprise pops out.

"This book concisely explains—and actively demonstrates with six functional pop-up paper contraptions—the science at play in our everyday world," the book's back cover explains. It turns out, there's a whole lot you can do with a few pieces of paper and a little bit of imagination.

A book is open to reveal a spiralgraph inside.
Courtesy Chronicle Books

There's the eponymous planetarium, a paper dome that you can use with your cell phone's flashlight to project constellations onto the ceiling. There's a conical speaker, which you can use to amplify a smaller music player. There's a spiralgraph you can use to make geometric designs. There's a basic cipher you can use to encode and decode secret messages, and on its reverse side, a calendar. There's a stringed musical instrument you can play on. All are miniature, functional machines that can expand your perceptions of what a simple piece of paper can become.

The cover of This Book Is a Planetarium
Courtesy Chronicle Books
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Noriyuki Saitoh
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Art
Japanese Artist Crafts Intricate Insects Using Bamboo
Original image
Noriyuki Saitoh

Not everyone finds insects beautiful. Some people think of them as scary, disturbing, or downright disgusting. But when Japanese artist Noriyuki Saitoh looks at a discarded cicada shell or a feeding praying mantis, he sees inspiration for his next creation.

Saitoh’s sculptures, spotted over at Colossal, are crafted by hand from bamboo. He uses the natural material to make some incredibly lifelike pieces. In one example, three wasps perch on a piece of honeycomb. In another, two mating dragonflies create a heart shape with their abdomens.

The figures he creates aren’t meant to be exact replicas of real insects. Rather, Saitoh starts his process with a list of dimensions and allows room for creativity when fine-tuning the appearances. The sense of movement and level of detail he puts into each sculpture is what makes them look so convincing.

You can browse the artist’s work on his website or follow him on social media for more stunning samples from his portfolio.

Bamboo insect.

Bamboo insect.

Bamboo insect.

Bamboo insect.

Bamboo insect.

Bamboo insect.

[h/t Colossal]

All images courtesy of Noriyuki Saitoh.

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