Oklahoma City Art Museum Is Target Of Art Theft

A man went to admire an exhibit at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art but left with an extra souvenir, and it wasn't from the gift shop. 

Thursday, December 22nd 2022, 6:27 pm



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The Oklahoma City Museum of Art can breathe a sigh of relief.  

It's a bizarre story that starts with a man who went to admire an exhibit but left with an extra souvenir, and it wasn't from the gift shop.  

The museum didn't have any giant empty frames.. like the ones still holding the place of the stolen paintings at Boston's Gardner Museum, but a keen eyed employee did see a glass work that didn't have one of its pocket sized pieces.  

That piece is a shard of the Rose Family Glass Collection.  

"The collection itself is over 150 pieces of glass and currently we have about a third of those on view," Museum President and CEO, Michael Anderson, said.

The work adds to the Oklahoma City Museum of Art's already extensive and expensive collection of contemporary studio glass.

"A world class collection, so many of the pieces in that collection are very valuable," Michael said. "So whenever we're exhibiting anything we're concerned about it. We hadn't prior to this exhibition to our knowledge had a theft of any piece," he added.  

On Oct. 11 that changed.

“We were doing a routine check of the gallery and two of our members of the collection staff noticed one of the small pieces of larger installation was missing." Michael continued. "It was missing, and it had no reason to be missing. It's a high valued piece."  

Michael said after they realized the piece was gone, they immediately checked security tapes.

"We were able to identify a probable suspect. We didn't immediately know all of the details of the theft upon discovering its absences so of course we were concerned with the condition of it," he explained.  

Court documents show museum member Christopher Lambert swiped a small piece of a larger glass work. He put it in his pocket and walked out, but he didn't leave.  

Those court records said he put the $70,000 piece of glass under his car tire and went back inside to finish his tour.

"Thankfully when we got it back it was still in pristine condition, it wasn't damaged. We actually got the piece back within a week," Michael explained.

Micahel added they want to keep which piece was taken under wraps. Lambert is charged with one felony theft count.

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