ART DETECTIVE – RIP February 2021
Charley Hill is most fondly remembered for having helped locate Edvard Munch’s 1893 version of The Scream after it was stolen from the National Museum in Oslo in 1994.
Tribute from Lorraine Neale. Chairman, The Friends of St Anne’s Church. Kew
Charley Hill will be deeply missed and fondly remembered by numerous parishioners at St Anne’s Church which he attended for several years living locally in Kew. He gave a wonderful lecture about his work to us in November 2015, prompted by my late husband Sir Gerry Neale who sadly died just prior to the lecture and never heard it. Sincere condolences to his wife Caroline Hill and the family from us all.
Tribute from Dr D.C. Bellingham Programme Director, MA in Art Business Sotheby’s Institute of Art
Sadly, my very good friend and renowned art detective, Charley Hill, has passed away. Charley was a regular lecturer for MAAB and a much-loved dissertation supervisor for several students, including Gareth Fletcher and most recently Lucy O’Meara, who have themselves gone on or will I be sure go on to great things. I remember Charley laughingly telling me that his biography* was going to be turned into a movie with Russell Crowe starring (he looks uncannily like the younger Charley) – sadly that did not happen, but I suspect that there will be many obituaries as well as, one day, a movie/documentary recounting his finding of the stolen Munch Scream from the Oslo art gallery. The paintings Charley really wanted to get back were those stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston (subject of a recent TV documentary). Let’s hope that they come back soon as a fitting memorial to his work.
• *Dolnick, Edward. The Rescue Artist: A True Story of Art, Thieves, and the Hunt for a Missing Masterpiece. 1st ed. New York, NY: Harper Collins Publishers, 2005
Charley will be sorely missed by SIA staff and students and our sincere condolences go out to his family.