600 Artworks Valued at over $ 100M USD Stolen Overnight.

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600 Artworks Valued at over $ 100M USD Stolen Overnight.

$100M WORTH OF ART STOLEN FROM PRIVATE HOME IN WEST CORK, IRELAND. 

In one of the largest art thefts in history, 600 original artworks valued at over $100 million USD were
stolen from a private home in Ireland by several American suspects in less than three days. 

CHICAGO, IL. 12 AUGUST 2019. On June 4, 2019, Sheila Lamb-Gabler, an American based entrepreneur, was having a pleasant phone call with the caretaker of her home in West Cork, Ireland. They were planning for a vacation there later in the summer when then conversation swiftly changed from hopeful to heartbreaking as she was told:

Storage Unit Before Theft, Photo by Sheila Lamb-Gabler

Storage Unit Before Theft, Photo by Sheila Lamb-Gabler

“Sheila, I don’t know how to say this, but, there’s a been a break in.”  

A collection of over 600 paintings by her now deceased father and internationally-renowned abstract expressionist artist, Matt Lamb, along with several antiques and family heirlooms, which are collectively valued at over $100 million USD, were stolen overnight. 

Several American suspects, who have been identified over the last two months, are facing international charges of fraud and theft in the both the United States and Ireland with the possibility of receiving a sentence of up to 14 years in an American prison. 

It is believed that the suspects traveled to Ireland over a short period of time (some 48 hours) with the sole intention to rent several trucks, drive over four hours to Lamb-Gabler’s home and steal as many possessions as possible to be stored in a facility somewhere between West Cork and Dublin, which is approximately 210 miles distance, before returning to the United States. 

Storage Unit After Theft, Photo by Sheila Lamb-Gabler

Storage Unit After Theft, Photo by Sheila Lamb-Gabler

The art collection was meticulously stored in a secured building connected to the home and had been curated over the past ten years offering an evolving depiction of Lamb’s creative growth. The works varied in size, medium and subject matter and were painted in his studios and during public exhibitions across the globe. This specific collection was set to be divided and displayed for exclusive exhibitions at several institutions and galleries throughout Ireland and the US later this year.

The antiques and family heirlooms were stolen from other locations throughout the home. They had been collected by Matt Lamb and his wife, Rosemarie, throughout their travels. Both of whom are now deceased.

Sheila Lamb-Gabler, the homeowner and daughter of the artist, has made the following statement: 

“Aside from the personal sadness and violation I feel from this invasion, this collection was built as a premier representation of my father’s creative genius. I have been by my father’s side since the beginning of his art career and have seen many of these paintings being brought to life. I have a very deep connection to his art and the messages they express. Together, he and I hand picked this collection for display at several organizations, institutions and universities in Ireland and the US. 

In addition to these locations, there are countless collectors and appreciators of his works and philosophies worldwide. These individuals who valued my father’s artistic passion, are also mourning the loss of enjoying these unique opportunities. 

With all of this in mind, I believe it is safe to say that this experience has caused distress to art collectors and creative communities everywhere.” 

Lamb’s work, which has consistently been an advocate of peace, hope and love, has provided an example of artistic positivity across the globe. These future exhibitions would have further promoted his encouraging and supportive messages to hopefully inspire acceptance within our increasingly divided and violent societies.

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“This Collection was built as a premier representation of my father’s creative genius.”

-Sheila Lamb-Gabler

Not only have Lamb’s artworks conveyed an uplifting legacy, but his foundation, Lamb Umbrellas for Peace, has continued striving to produce an optimistic vision of a non-violent future via painting an umbrella. The program began shortly after 9/11 in Washington D.C. and has now been completed by over 3 million participants internationally who believe they can positively impact the world.  

A thorough investigation on the whereabouts of Lamb-Gabler’s possessions has been ongoing for the past two months in both countries and the evidence is continuing to compile. This severely illegal act is one of the largest quantity of art thefts completed and whether the artworks will ever be recovered is yet to be known. The investigation continues. 


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For more information on Matt Lamb’s work and history, please visit www.mattlamb.com.

If you would like more information on this story, or have any information on the whereabouts of this artwork, please contact Rose Gabler at rose.gabler@gmail.com