The Massachusetts Charitable Mechanic Association’s Public Statement of Gratitude Upon Successful Recovery of the “Wounded Indian”

By Chuck Sulkala, MCMA President, and Peter Lemonias, Chair, Wounded Indian Task Force

The Massachusetts Charitable Mechanic Association (“MCMA”) today celebrates its recovery of Peter Stephenson’s monumental Wounded Indian sculpture, which was unlawfully removed from MCMA’s Boston premises in 1958. The Chrysler Museum in Norfolk, Virginia, now recognizes MCMA’s ownership of the statue and will return it permanently to Boston for public display locally. See MCMA’s press release.

The “Wounded Indian” on display at the Chrysler Museum in Norfolk, VA. Photo by Stewart Gamage.

The impending return of this exquisite statue to Boston is a triumph not only for MCMA, but also for all Bay Staters and Americans who appreciate that this outstanding work of art was created in Boston, by a then-Bostonian, given to a Boston civic organization, for a Boston-area audience.

MCMA would like to express its profound gratitude to the following people and institutions whose efforts made the return of the Wounded Indian possible:

  • For safeguarding MCMA’s heritage and traditions from its founding in 1795 to today: our past and current members.
  • For their passion and patience in researching the Wounded Indian’s history and pursuing MCMA’s ownership claim: our board members and those on the Wounded Indian task force, including Peter Lemonias, Chair, Chuck Sulkala,  MCMA President, Marty Joyce, Secretary, Paul Revere III, Esq. and MCMA General Counsel, Paul Lohnes, and Rick Ryan, Vice President.
  • For his early efforts to reclaim the Wounded Indian for the MCMA: late past MCMA president Ray Purdy.
  • For their persistent and skillful efforts over the last four years to defend MCMA’s rights and secure the return of the Wounded Indian: MCMA’s legal co-counsel, Greg Werkheiser and Dr. Jennifer Morris of Cultural Heritage Partners, PLLC, and Thomas Kline of Schindler Cohen & Hochman LLP.
  • For her work researching the history of the Wounded Indian while a graduate student at MIT Elizabeth Saari-Browne, Ph.D.
  • For the in-depth and accurate news coverage that helped shine a light on MCMA’s pursuit to recover the Wounded Indian, the outlets and journalists who covered this matter, including:
  • For their notable public service: the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Art Crime Team and the U.S. Department of Justice, particularly current FBI Supervisory Special Agent Kristin D. Koch, former Supervisory Special Agent, Randolph J. Deaton IV, respectively current and former heads of the FBI Art Crime Team, Special Agents Geoffrey J.Kelly and Jake Archer, members of the FBI Art Crime Team and Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin Hudson, Eastern District of Virginia.
  • For their wisdom and collaboration in reaching an amicable and ethical resolution of this matter that guarantees that this iconic American work of art will continue to be viewed, studied, and enjoyed by all who wish to see it, MCMA expresses its gratitude to the Chrysler Museum’s Board, Director Erik Neil, curatorial staff, and legal counsel Dennis Wade of Wade Clark Mulcahy, LLP.


For expressing their passion for our shared cultural heritage: the American public, who called, emailed, commented on press articles, and urged a just outcome.