One of the times when thefts of art are most common is surrounding holidays and festive events. The most obvious example is of course the Isabella Stewart Gardner theft. The same goes for large homes as well. Tony Buzbee, a successful Houston trial attorney found himself the victim of a home burglary early Monday morning. He had apparently had a Superbowl party at his large mansion the evening before, and discovered a man riding away on a moped from his garage at around 6 a.m. on Monday. He discovered that an estimated $21 million worth of goods was stolen, including this art:
- Pablo Picasso’s ‘Femme Accoudee’ painting, valued at $216,611
- Claude Monet’s ‘La Plaine de Gennevillers’ painting, valued at $1,273,125 (auctioned at Christies in 2006)
- A Fernand Leger painting, ‘Paysage au coq rouge’, valued at $1,284,015
- Pierre Bonnard’s ‘Jeune Femme au Chapeau noir,’ valued at $832,125.00
- Jean Pierre Cassigneul’s painting, ‘Femme en Vert,’ valued at $111,563
- Childe Hassam’s ‘California Hills in Spring’ painting, valued at $985,000.
Buzbee has had trouble keeping his art safe before. In 2017, a first date with a Dallas court reporter got out of hand and she allegedly, in a drunken frenzy, started throwing sculpture and damaged a couple of Andy Warhol paintings when Buzbee tried to call her a ride home.
Locally, Buzbee has a reputation as a colorful trial lawyer apart from his art troubles. In 2016 he hosted a fundraiser for Donald Trump, and he’s currently running a Trumpian mayoral campaign. He has netted some fantastically high sums of money in a number of high profile trials, but also gained notoriety for parking a M4A4 Sherman Tank, dating to WWII, in front of his home. That street is River Oaks Boulevard, one of the wealthiest streets in Houston, and probably in all of the United States.
But he continues to have a hard time securing his art.
- What was stolen from Tony Buzbee’s River Oaks mansion, ABC13 Houston (2019), https://abc13.com/5124186/ (last visited Feb 7, 2019);
- Nightmare Date Ends with Badly Damaged Warhols, Hyperallergic (2017), https://hyperallergic.com/419215/nightmare-date-ends-with-badly-damaged-warhols/ (last visited Feb 7, 2019);
- Millions in artwork, jewelry stolen from Tony Buzbee’s home, police say – Houston Chronicle, Houston Chronicle, https://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Millions-in-artwork-jewelry-stolen-from-13587951.php (last visited Feb 7, 2019);
- The Complete Story of the River Oaks Tank, Texas Monthly (2017), https://www.texasmonthly.com/the-daily-post/complete-story-river-oaks-tank/ (last visited Feb 7, 2019).