Anonymous Phone Call Leads Police To Recover Professor's Stolen Pollock

A stolen Jackson Pollock painting, owned by Reginald R. Isaacs. Norton Professor of Regional Planning, was recovered Tuesday by Cambridge city and Massachusetts state police.

The painting, valued between $350,000 and $500,000, was stolen from Isaacs's Cambridge apartment, November 8, 1973.

Two other paintings, stolen the same day and valued at $150,000 apiece, are still missing.

George S. Abrams '54, counsel for Isaacs, said yesterday that police found the painting in a Newton hotel after an unidentified telephone caller alerted them to its whereabouts.

"There has never been any ransom," Abrams said.

Although Isaacs would not disclose the value of the painting, he said at the time of the theft that it was worth more than a Pollock owned by the Fogg Art Museum, which he said is valued at more than $500,000.

Isaacs was not available for comment yesterday.

Isaacs, a personal friend of Pollock, bought the recovered painting from the painter in 1951 for $200.

The Herald-American reported that Travelers Insurance Co., which insured the painting, has paid at least $220,000 in settlement for it.

William Cassidy, assistant manager of property claims, would not comment yesterday on the settlement or on the possibility of a resettlement.

Determining Damages

Abrams said he turned the painting over to conservators who are currently "trying to determine the damage, if any."

The painting is currently at the Fogg Museum at Harvard, according to the police, Pollock, born in Wyoming in 1912, painted in an abstract expressionistic style, laying his canvas flat on the floor, rather then standing it up at an angle.

Isaac met Pollock in 1946 and purchased his first Pollock after that meeting. He acquired his most valuable Pollock, the recovered painting, in 1951.