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Fred Fisher

Fred Fisher makes an announcement at the Hyde Collection in 1989. (Courtesy Fred Fisher)
Fred Fisher makes an announcement at the Hyde Collection in 1989. (Courtesy Fred Fisher)

Fred Fisher was director of The Hyde Collection in Glens Fall, New York, starting in 1978. The museum was built in 1912 by Charlotte Pruyn Hyde, the heiress of a paper fortune, to showcase the collection of Old Masters and Renaissance tapestries that she and her husband, Louis Hyde, had amassed. Inspired in its Italian Renaissance design by the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, The Hyde mirrored the Boston museum in other ways, too: By 1980, it was low on funds, its security was weak, and it attracted the scheming of thieves.

When Paul Stirling Vanderbilt alit upon Glens Falls, New York, in the spring of 1980, he set his sights on ingratiating himself to Fisher, who was immediately wary of the posh young man’s intentions. He was right to be. The man masquerading as a Vanderbilt was actually a 20-year old conman, Brian Michael McDevitt, whose identity was revealed in the wake of his failed attempt to rob The Hyde.


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