Valuable painting returned to Waikiki gallery

Bruce Krakauer
Bruce Krakauer

By Leland Kim - bio | email

WAIKIKI (KHNL) - A stolen prized artwork valued at close to $700,000 was recovered Tuesday and returned to its owner, after it was stolen Sunday from Wyland Galleries in Waikiki.

The painting was found in Chinatown, and police are releasing few details of the recovery. It suffered no damages, and Wyland, the artist, is thrilled it was found so quickly.

This is Wyland Galleries, home to more than a hundred works of art. On Sunday, this painting called "Dolphin Dawn" was stolen during business hours. Police notified the gallery they found it Tuesday morning.

"I got a call from Detective Yamauchi, and she told me about it," said Bruce Krakauer, a fine art consultant at Wyland Galleries. "I was very excited to hear the good news."

This published four feet by six feet artwork is considered one of the most valuable in the gallery. Wyland was on the mainland at a fundraiser for his Wyland Foundation when he heard the news.

"It feels really great that they found my painting so quickly," he said. "You know I was worried and it's a very important painting because it's a published piece."

He credits news coverage for helping to bring his stolen painting back to his gallery.

"I really believe, Leland, that it was the media that really helped solve the case as well because there was no place to hide it," said Wyland. "It's a big painting and Hawaii's a small place."

This $695,000 artwork will be featured in a museum Wyland plans to open in San Diego. And those at his gallery say this is a picture perfect ending to a bizarre situation.

"I was elated of course especially because it happened so quickly, you know," said Krakauer. "So very, very thrilled."

Police have not arrested anyone so far, and the case is still under investigation.