Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.


Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies

Degree Program

Interdisciplinary Studies (Individualized Degree), PhD

Committee Chair

Schroeder, Ryan

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Morrin, Peter

Committee Member

Morrin, Peter

Committee Member

Begley, John

Committee Member

Roelfs, David

Author's Keywords

art vandalism; art theft; routine activities theory; guardianship; art museums; art galleries


Art crime scholars and art world professionals constantly grapple with determining the most effective methods by which to reduce and prevent victimization by art thieves and art vandals. Despite the numerous accounts of this form of criminality, there is a dearth of empirical studies focused on the security and care of art collections. Using Routine Activities Theory to guide the research, the present study explores the relationship between social and physical guardianship practices and the prevalence of art theft and art vandalism using questionnaire data collected from 111 American art museums and art galleries. The results indicate an overwhelming lack of statistically significant association between the majority of the guardianship measures and art theft and art vandalism victimization, a pattern consistent with the possibility that social and physical guardianship practices are not implemented until after an act of vandalism has already occurred.