Stasis, by Santa Fe artist Erin Cone, was one of several paintings stolen in 2019 while being shipped to Louisiana from a Santa Fe gallery. Later that year, Cone received a suspicious message through her website from someone who claimed to have ‘found’ the painting.

Erin Cone, a Santa Fe artist, received a suspicious message through her website sometime in 2019.

“I was lucky enough to find one of your paintings by the name of stasis,” the message read. “It’s truly a wonderful piece but I was told it was a piece that was involved in a violent crime or stolen or something on the lines of that and I would like to talk to you about this for the simple fact of you being the original painter.”

Around the time Cone received the message, Arthur Roger, a gallery owner in New Orleans, received a strange phone call. The caller wanted to know the value of several paintings by Nicole Charbonnet, a Louisiana-based artist Roger represents. He later learned the paintings had been stolen.