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MYSTERIES OF SARASOTA


The missing palette of Master painter, Jon Corbino

Jon Corbino's Rockport Fisherman
Jon Corbino painting
Master painter, Jon Corbino always painted an image on his palette when he could not find a canvas. He often gave the palettes away on special occasions. In 1961 when an art dealer in Great Neck, NY, asked for a palette, Corbino painted a white horse and circus performers and signed it, To Eva Lee.

In the 1980's this palette appeared in the Fine Arts Society collection at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in Sarasota. Later the Fine Arts Society purchased another Corbino, "Refugees," an oil on canvas for their collection. The palette proved to be the most popular work in the collection and made headlines on the front page of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune in 1992 when it was stolen from the lower lobby of the Hall during a country music concert of the Oak Ridge Boys.
Painter Jon Corbino (1937)
Jon Corbino (1937)
There were no clues to this daring art theft and the palette has never been recovered. Apparently the thief was not interested in art history or in resale value, in which case "Refugees" would have been a much better choice. Who stole the priceless palette, and where is it today?

Jon Corbino's work is in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum, Whitney Museum, and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art. Corbino was born in Vittoria, Sicily in 1905 and came to the United States with his parents at the age of 8. He grew up in New York City and attended the Ethical Culture School on an art scholarship and then enrolled in the Art Students League. He received two Guggenheim Fellowships and was elected a member of the National Academy of Design. Life magazine dubbed him the modern-day Rubens. A highly acclaimed artist for heroic themes revealing the anxieties of America during the 1930s, Jon Corbino depicted disasters such as wars and floods. He was much admired for his skill in draftsmanship and brilliant, smoldering colors. He was also known for his love of horses

Corbino's Art in Museum and Public Collections

  • Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
  • Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
  • National Academy of Design, New York, NY
  • Art Students League, New York, NY
  • Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn, NY
  • Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
  • Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts Museum of American Art, Penn, PA
  • San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego, CA
  • The Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo, OH
  • The Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, MI
  • Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, IN
  • Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN
  • The Montclair Art Museum, Montclair, NJ
  • Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, FL
  • Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR
  • The Parrish Art Museum, Southampton, NY
  • Worcester Art Museum, Worcester, MA
  • Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, Memphis, TN
  • Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, MO
  • Davenport Museum of Art, Davenport, IA
  • Grand Rapids Art Museum, Grand Rapids, MI
  • Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, OH
  • Mint Museum of Art, Charlotte, NC
  • Hickory Museum of Art, Hickory, NC
  • Fitchburg Art Museum, Fitchburg, MA
  • New Britain Art Museum, New Britain, CT
  • Canajoharie Art Gallery, Canajoharie, NY
  • Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, TX
  • Cape Ann Historical Museum, Gloucester, MA
  • Fuller-Brockton Art Museum, Brockton, MA
  • Gulf Coast Museum of Art, Largo, FL
  • Addison Gallery of Fine Arts, Andover, MA
  • Lotus Club, New York, NY
  • First National Bank of Chicago, Chicago, IL
  • Fine Arts Society, Sarasota, FL
  • Hallmark Cards, Inc., Kansas City, MO
  • Georgia Museum of Art, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
  • Oberlin College Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin, OH
  • Howard University, Washington, DC
  • Sweet Briar College, Sweet Briar, VA
  • Amherst College Mead Art Museum, Amherst, MA
  • Ball State University Museum of Art, Muncie, IN
  • Brigham Young University Museum of Art, Provo, UT
  • Mount Holyoke College Art Museum, South Hadley, MA
  • Palmer Museum of Art, Penn State University, University Park, PA
  • Ackland Art Museum, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC
  • Weatherspoon Art Gallery, University of North Carolina, Greensboro, NC
  • Colby College, Waterville, ME
  • University of Oklahoma Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, Norman, OK
  • Hofstra University Museum, Hempstead, NY
  • Wellesley College Davis Museum, Wellesley, MA
  • Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
  • Ringling School of Art and Design, Sarasota, FL
  • St. Boniface Episcopal Church, Sarasota, FL
  • Hebron Academy, Hebron, ME
  • Georgetown Library, Washington, DC
  • Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
  • Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC
  • National Art Museum of Sport, Indianapolis, IN
  • John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota, FL
  • Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, NE
  • Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery & Sculpture Garden, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE

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