20th Framed Gala Celebration Featured Bogus Art Theft and Genuine Fun

On October 20, 2018 at Siwanoy Country Club, while off duty, Police Chief Chris Satriale responded to a report from the Bronxville Historical Conservancy of a stolen painting. Guests had gathered for the unveiling of Winter’s Day and gasped when the velvet curtain was drawn to find a framed emoji cartoon rather than the original painting by Nichols. Working quickly to secure the crime scene, Chief Satriale assured the crowd the mystery would be solved and the painting returned before the evening was over. This was not reported on the Bronxville police blotter because this elaborate ruse was part of Framed!, the Conservancy’s gala celebration.

20th Framed Gala Celebration Featured Bogus Art Theft and Genuine Fun

The bogus heist, producing a genuine evening of entertainment and fun, involved an interactive murder-mystery performance that was threaded through cocktails and a sit-down dinner.
Table assignments quickly turned into investigative teams competing to solve the crime and catch the culprit.

After trying to persuade the crowd of their alibis, only one suspect could not, and she ultimately was charged as the thief. With the crime solved, the original painting was recovered and presented to the crowd.

Art historian and BHC curator Jayne Warman concluded the evening with the true and accurate account of the special painting and its artist. Henry Hobart Nichols (1869-1962), born in Washington, DC, was the son of a noted wood engraver. He studied both in Washington and Paris, and in 1910 settled in Bronxville until his death. He contributed much to the artistic life of the village and to the New York art world. Nichols was known for his integrity, sincerity, and high idealism, and his works are characterized by a blending of subtle, quiet tones. Winter’s Day will hang in Bronxville Village Hall as a part of the Conservancy’s expanding collection of Bronxville art works.

Eleanor Pennell, a former member and long-time Bronxville resident, bequeathed the painting to the Conservancy on her death in January 2018. The gift reflects her commitment to the Conservancy and the Bronxville community and it serves as a lasting legacy, reminding future generations of our village’s history and continuing appreciation of its resident artists.

About the author

The Bronxville Historical Conservancy was established in 1998 to further the understanding and appreciation of the history and current life of the Village of Bronxville, New York. The Conservancy furthers its mission through the presentation of programs, publications, lectures, and special events that foster an awareness of the Village’s architectural, artistic, and cultural heritage and lends its support for projects designed to strengthen and preserve those legacies.