When Charley Hill was 12 years old, his mother took him and his sisters to all the art galleries she could. One hot summer day when they were visiting the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, with another gallery visit planned, he started screaming about wanting to go for a swim instead. “My sisters backed me, obnoxious air-force brat that I was, and we went swimming,” Charley told me.
That swim notwithstanding, the obnoxious air-force brat never stopped going to galleries and became one of the world’s greatest art detectives. He helped to recover stolen artworks worth hundreds of millions of dollars, and could also discuss Van Gogh and Vuillard, as well as the use of light and shadow in Rembrandt, Vermeer, and Turner.