Police are continuing to search for three paintings by noted Pleasanton artist Charlotte Severin that were stolen last week from the front lobby of the Pleasanton Hotel restaurant Dec. 30. She estimated the value of the three paintings at $2,000
The theft, which Severin noticed when she went to the hotel for a New Year's Eve dinner, apparently took place during a late night party the night before for restaurant owners Bill and Vernie Laube. The Laubes, who had owned and operated the restaurant since 1983, closed it New Year's Day after building owner Sue Martinovich of Alamo refused to extend their lease beyond Dec. 31.
Severin said two of her paintings, "Second Street Victorian" and "Pleasanton Ranch," were left untouched on the walls near the restaurant's bar, but the three that were taken were hanging on both sides of the front lobby walls, where they've been hanging on a "loan" basis for six months. Apparently, they were taken sometime after 10 p.m. Dec. 30, when they were last seen, and the morning of New Year's Eve Day when an employee noticed they were gone. Laube, however, didn't learn they were missing until Severin told him that night.
The three missing paintings are:
"Downtown Pleasanton" – A view of the Kolln Hardware building and the Pleasanton Arch, which Severin painted from her canvass at the Blue Agave Restaurant. The painting measures 12x16 inches and is mounted in a large frame with matting. The painting was being offered for sale at $495.
"The Old Cavestri Ranch" – A watercolor painted from the bottom of a church parking lot off First Street near the Arroyo del Valle, the scene is of a group of farm buildings and an old Victorian house that was once owned by the Cavestri family. Severin often takes students in her art classes to this spot to teach painting techniques. The painting measures 15x22 inches and is mounted in a large frame with matting. The painting was being offered for sale at $650.
"The Old Game Warden's House" – Painted on location from the corner of the Lighthouse Baptist Church at Second and Neal streets, showing the Game Warden's house at 4512 Second St., where he lived in the late 1800s. The beautifully restored Victorian is now owned by Christine and Brian Bourg. The painting measures 18x24 inches and is mounted in a large frame with matting. The painting was being offered for sale at $850.
Severin is an award-winning Bay area Plein Air artist whose works are displayed in public and private collections in the U.S. and many foreign countries, including Japan, Guatemala, France, Germany and Mexico, as well as the foreign consulates and embassies in San Francisco. Some corporate collectors have acquired as many as 25 of her works in permanent collections, and she has completed commissions for international corporations as well.
A founder of the Pleasanton Art League, she has championed a number of city and civic art projects and shows and was instrumental in winning public and City Council support for the Firehouse Arts Center, now under construction on Railroad Avenue.
Along with other local artists, Severin frequently loans out her work for exhibits in Pleasanton and Livermore, including the Museum On Main, Livermore Public Library, corporations, retail businesses and restaurants, and the Pleasanton Hotel.
"In all the time that I have exhibited my paintings, never has one been taken," she said. "It's just unbelievable."
Severin said it's possible that someone mistakenly took the paintings as souvenirs because the hotel restaurant was closing. She asks that anyone with information on the paintings contact her, the Pleasanton police or the Pleasanton Weekly.
Anyone who has the paintings or has access to them can also drop them off at the front desk of the Pleasanton Weekly, 5506 Sunol Blvd., Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., with no questions asked.