Bronze sculpture by Gerald Laing stolen from museum

Posted filed underArt Theft, Sculptures.

A bronze sculpture worth £20,000 has been stolen from public display.

Dreaming by Gerald Laing was taken from Kelvingrove Art Gallery in Glasgow on Sunday afternoon.

Staff at the museum last saw the bronze head at 3.45pm. The alarm was raised 45 minutes later when a worker noticed the 12.8kg piece was missing from the first-floor display.

Strathclyde Police are reviewing CCTV footage from a number of areas within the museum.

The art gallery reopened in 2006 after refurbishment and management said this is the first time a piece has been stolen since then.

A spokesman for Glasgow Life, which manages the city museums, said: “This was a deliberate act. Someone has stolen from the people of Glasgow. As with all of our collections, this work belongs to them. We are working with the police and other agencies and would appeal for the safe return of this work of art.

“Since reopening after refurbishment in 2006, we have welcomed more than nine million visitors to Kelvingrove and had no incidents of work being taken from public view.

“Thanks to the quick action of staff, we have been able to identify a short timeframe where we believe the bronze was stolen and are in the process of examining CCTV footage from across the museum to identify those responsible.”

Laing sculpted the piece in 1979 and it was bought by Glasgow Museums and the National Fund for Acquisitions in 1981. It was valued for insurance 10 years ago at £5,000 and is now estimated to be worth around £20,000, Glasgow Life said.

The sculptor died last year aged 75.

Wikipedia: Gerald Ogilvie Laing (11 February 1936 – 23 November 2011) was a British pop artist and sculptor. He lived in the Scottish Highlands. At the beginning of the 1960′s, while still at St. Martin’s, Laing was introduced to artists in New York City. After art school he moved there, and with his connections, his art career began to take off.

Laing’s career took him from the avant-garde world of 1960s pop art, through minimalist sculpture, followed by representational sculpture and then back full circle to his pop art roots.

In 1993 the Fruitmarket Gallery in Edinburgh staged a retrospective exhibition of his work.

Laing did a series of anti-war paintings, based primarily on photographs from the atrocities at Abu Ghraib. These paintings were the beginning of his return to pop art. They were followed in 2004 by a series of Amy Whitehouse paintings, as well as a painting of Victoria Beckham and Kate Moss.

- Official Website