Anonoymous Caller Returns Artwork; Three Murals Still Lost, Artists Say

Anonymous phone calls and stolen art are not parts of an average night in the Yard, but each was found in Thayer Hall last night when two of five murals stolen during the College's 350th anniversary ball were anonymously returned to the artists who painted them.

Two artists picked up the murals, which have been missing since October 11, inside Thayer south entry at about 10:45 p.m.

Mary Rhinelander '83, one of the two artists commissioned to paint the murals, said she received an anonymous phone call Tuesday night from a man who said he posessed two of the missing paintings. Each painting is 6-ft. by 9-ft.

Rhinelander said that although one person called, he made it clear that he was phoning for others as well.

"The caller said he had two of my paintings and would like to return them while maintaining his anonymity," Rhinelander said.

The caller then asked Rhinelander to choose a place where she could pick up the works, she said.

"I was so shocked by the call that I couldn't pick a place off hand, and the caller hung up telling me he would call back after selecting a place," she said.

Rhinelander said she received a second call five minutes later and was told the paintings would be in Thayer hall, south entry. "I told the caller that Thayer would be fine and would be there to pick them up in a little while."

At about the same time an anonymous caller phoned at least three students living in Thayer south and asked them to leave the entry's front dooropen.

"I was asked by an anonymous caller to open thefront door so it would stay open," said a Thayersouth resident who didn't want his name used.

"The caller told me it was very importantbecause missing paintings were being returned inthe entryway's hall," said the Thayerian.

Rhinelander went to Thayer south with EthanJohnson '84, who painted the murals with her. "Wefound the two paintings rolled up and leaningagainst the wall inside the hall," Johnson said.

Thayer residents said they did not see anyonereturn the paintings.

Both artists said they were elated that atleast some of their paintings were returned, butthey said they are still anxious to recover theremaining three.

"An offer of about $900 was made for one of thepaintings still missing," said Rhinelander. "I'dlove to have it back so I could sell it," shesaid. Rhinelander and Johnson work as ahousekeeper and waiter, respectively, to supporttheir painting careers.

Dean of Students Archie C. Epps III said, "Ithink its just wonderful that two of them werereturned." Epps said the artists notified him justafter the ball about the missing paintings in thehope that something could be done.

"Hopefully the others will turn up in roominspection during Christmas break," he said