A $10,000 portrait of a longtime Kansas University devotee has gone missing from a KU residence hall.
Campus police are investigating the theft of the canvas painting, which portrays Robert Fred Ellsworth Sr. The Lawrence native, who was known by his middle name, worked at the university for nearly 40 years.
The portrait was stolen in mid-May from Fred Ellsworth Hall, an on-campus residence facility, campus officials said. It was displayed just inside the entryway to the building, 1734 Engel Road, where two empty picture hooks mark its place.
The theft, which was reported to police Friday, occurred during a period when students were moving out of residence halls following final examinations. Ellsworth Hall houses 550 KU students each year.
“It was probably more intended on the lines of a prank, but we’d like to get it back,” said Diana Robertson, KU student housing director.
Robertson said her office was trying to track down a picture of the portrait to aid police in their investigation. She said the portrait was about 2 feet tall by 1 1/2 feet wide. Its value was estimated based on state inventory classification guidelines.
“It’s got sentimental and historical value,” Robertson said.
KU Public Safety Office Capt. Schuyler Bailey said anyone with information about the theft should call KU Crimestoppers at 864-8888.