Anthony Amore: The Woman Who Stole Vermeer

December 9, 2020 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Salem Athenaeum—Online
Suggested donations: $10 Members, $15 Non-members
Salem Athenaeum

The Woman Who Stole Vermeer:
The True Story of Rose Dugdale and the Russborough House Art Heist

Learn about the extraordinary life and crimes of heiress-turned-revolutionary Rose Dugdale, who in 1974 became the only woman to pull off a major art heist.

In the world of crime, those who steal art and those who repeatedly kill have one typical commonality: they are almost exclusively male. But, as with all things, there is someone who bucks the trends and leaves investigators scratching their heads. In the history of major art heists, that outlier is Rose Dugdale.

Born into extreme wealth, she abandoned her life as an Oxford-trained PhD and heiress to join the cause of Irish Republicanism. While on the surface she appears to be the British version of Patricia Hearst, she is anything but. Dugdale spearheaded the first aerial terrorist attack in British history and pulled off the biggest art theft of her time. In 1974, she led a gang into the opulent Russborough House in Ireland and made off with millions in prized paintings, including works by Goya, Gainsborough, Rubens, and Vermeer. Dugdale thus became—to this day—the only woman to pull off a major art heist. And as Anthony Amore explores in The Woman Who Stole Vermeer, it’s likely that this was not her only one.

Anthony Amore is Director of Security and Chief Investigator at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, where he is charged with the ongoing efforts to recover thirteen works of art stolen from the museum on March 18, 1990. Additionally, he is the co-author of Stealing Rembrandts (a Wall Street Journal bestseller) and author of The Art of the Con (a New York Times bestseller) and provides analysis on issues related to security and terrorism for the BBC, NBC News, NPR, CNN, FOX, and others. He lives in Boston, MA. Learn more at

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