Glasgow Museum Retrieved Robert Gemmell Hutchison Piece

Glasgow Museum Retrieved a Painting Stolen More Than Thirty Years Ago Created by Scottish Artist Robert Gemmell Hutchison.

Jan 22, 2024By Angela Davic, News, Discoveries, In-depth Reporting, and Analysis
Glasgow Museum
Robert Gemmell Hutchison (Scottish, 1855-1936) «The toy boat» Via Wikipedia.


Glasgow museum retrieved a painting stolen during heist from more than thirty years ago. Overall, the painting, called “Children Wading”, is a work of art by Scottish artist Robert Gemmell Hutchison. After turning off an alarm, the thieves ascended a ladder. The also went through an upstairs window to break into the Haggs Castle Museum of Childhood in 1989.


Painting Located Via the Art Loss Register

Glasgow Museum
Children Wading.


The thieves pilfered a collection of antiques, some of which originated from the renowned Burrell Collection. And up until this point, none of them had been seen again. The painting previously mentioned came into sight after being listed on the Art Loss Register (ALR). The ALR is a system used by museums, auction houses, insurers, law firms and the police. It also claims to be the biggest private archive of stolen artwork, antiques, and collectibles in the world.


It has around 700,000 listed objects. This also includes 65,000 that are presently absent from museums across the globe. James Ratcliffe, the ALR’s director of recoveries, anticipates that in the upcoming weeks and months, there will be a notable rise in the quantity of lost museum artefacts added. This is UK museums are conducting inventory audits.


Banksy's show, Glasgow Museum
Banksy: Cut and Run. Via Glasgowlife


This comes following news that 2,000 British Museum objects are missing, stolen, or destroyed. Some of the British Museum’s unrecorded art became recognised and uploaded to the ALR. An unsuspecting family holded Children Wading painting. They put it up for auction along with a portion of their late father’s assets. Painted in Carnoustie, Angus, the painting portrays two little girls paddling along the shoreline on a warm summer’s day.

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Glasgow Museum Gets the Painting

The British museum,
The British museum. Archive.


“This painting was registered on our database in about 2014, when Glasgow Museums were going through their records, looking for pieces that they could add to our database so that we could track them down”, Mr Ratcliffe said. “Nothing was seen of it until it turned up in November last year at an auction house in North Yorkshire”, he also added. The ALR determined it as pilfered.


Tennants Auctioneers promptly removed it from sale. The family also suggested that it be given back to Glasgow Museums. According to Director Duncan Dornan, the painting came to the museum in 1960, and the organisation is happy to get it back. “We’re delighted to have a work returned, even though the theft was a very long time ago,” he said. “The pain of it still persists – and there’s a loss to the public in Glasgow”, he also added.


The British Museum, England's Museum Collections
LONDON, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 22: Sections of the Parthenon Marbles also known as the Elgin Marbles are displayed at The British Museum on November 22, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)


“We were sorry to lose it and delighted to be able to recover the work subsequently, using the Art Loss system. This is what happens a lot of the time with art which is stolen, because normally, if you’re just a normal member of the public, you buy art and then you keep it”, he also added.
























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By Angela DavicNews, Discoveries, In-depth Reporting, and AnalysisAngela is a journalism student at the Faculty of Political Science in Belgrade and received a scholarship for continued education in Prague. She completed her internship at the daily newspaper DANAS and worked as an executive editor at Talas.