SOURCES OF INFORMATION ON ART FORGERY

  • December 22, 2000
    - A five-year investigation reveals that most West African terra-cotta
    sculptures are fakes that have fooled specialists, sold for hundreds
    of thousands of dollars, and ended up in some of the world's most
    prestigious museums

  •  

    By:

     

    Jonathan Sazonoff

    Saz Productions, Inc.

    http://www.saztv.com

     

    PS – If readers would like to expand or modify this collection of information please e-mail us.

     Art-theft@webtv.net  

    All additions, deletions, comments and questions are welcome.  Perhaps this could be the genesis of a more concise on-line resource.

     

     

     

     

    SOURCES OF INFORMATION ON ART FORGERY (PART I)

     

     

    *   FAMOUS ART FORGERS

     

     

    SOURCES OF INFORMATION ON ART FORGERY (PART II)

     

    *   ARTICLES ABOUT FORGERY (GENERAL)

    *   ART FRAUD

    *   AUTHENTICATION

    *   COPIES & REPRODUCTIONS

    *   ENCYCLOPEDIA ARTICLES

    *   EXHIBITIONS / MUSEUMS / EDUCATION

    *   FORENSIC SCIENCE

    *   FORGERY BY COUNTRY

    *   FORGERY OF FAMOUS ARTISTS

     

     

    SOURCES OF INFORMATION ON ART FORGERY (PART III)

     

    MISCELLANEOUS FORGERY

     

    *   Antiques

    *   Archaeology

    *   Autographs

    *   Coins

    *   Documents

    *   Ethnographic Material

    *   Literature

    *   Musical Instruments

    *   Paleontology

    *   Stamps

     

     

     

    SOURCES OF INFORMATION ON ART FORGERY (PART IV)

     

    *   ART FORGERY BIBLIOGRAPHY

     

     

    SOURCES OF INFORMATION ON ART FORGERY (PART I)

     

    *   FAMOUS ART FORGERS

     

    FAMOUS ART FORGERS & ACCOMPLICES

     

    1.      Bastianini, Giovanni

    2.      Blundell , William

    3.      Chaudron, Yves

    4.      De Hory, Elmyr

    5.      Dia-Chien, Chang

    6.      Dossona, Alceeo

    7.      Drew, John

    8.      Hain, Guy

    9.      Hebborn, Eric

    10. Keating, Tom

    11. Kelly, Frank

    12. Lara, Brigidio

    13. Legros, Ferdinan

    14. Lessart, Real

    15. Myatt, John

    16. Schuffenecker, Claude-Emile

    17. Stein, David

    18. Troullebert, Paul Desire

    19. Van Meegeren, Han

    20. Wacker, Otto

     

     

    1.      GIOVANNI BASTIANINA

    (Italian 1830 – 1869)

    Florentine sculpture credited as perhaps the art world’s most skillful forger.  As a skilled artist, his work is on display in the National Gallery; while as a forger his “renaissance” pieces were acquired by the Louvre and the Victoria and Albert Museum.  Hoeving believes he make exquisite renaissance fakes.

    See Hoeving Interview Class Notes: December 25, 1996

    http://www.princeton.edu/~paw/PAW96-97/07-1225/1225cns.html

    An example of Bastianina’s work: Portrait of a Lady, "Giovanna Albizzi"

    http://www.nga.gov/cgi-bin/pinfo?Object=139+0+none

     

     

    2.    WILLIAM BLUNDELL

    (Australian 1947-)

    Forger of Australian painters like Dobell, Boyd, Nolan, Rees, Streeton, Drysdale, Blackman, as well as other major  20th century artists like Picasso, Pollock and Monet.   Prolific forger producing a total of 3,500– 4,000  art forgeries.

    Sydney Morning Herald - Features - A brush with fame

    http://www.smh.com.au/news/9807/18/features/features2.html

     

     

    3.   YVES CHANDRON

    (French active c. 1910)

    Forger who was part of a scheme involving the theft of the Mona Lisa in 1911.

    The Thief of the Mona Lisa http://expage.com/page/saki

     

     

    4.      ELMYR DE HORY

    (Hungarian 1906-1976)

    THE most prolific and versatile of forgers, faking every important artist from Picasso to Renoir, Modigliani, Matisse, Vlaminck, Derain and Dufy and fooling art galleries around the world for 20 years. Between 1961 and 1967 alone he claimed to have forged $US60million worth of paintings, which he sold to art galleries and Texan oil millionaires. Up to 90per cent of his forgeries are still hanging undetected in museums and galleries, according to his biographer, Clifford Irving. (Profile from the Sydney Morning Herald - Features - A brush with fame)

    http://www.smh.com.au/news/9807/18/features/features2.html )

    Elmyr de Hory

    http://syntac.net/hoax/elmyr.html

    Masterpiece or Forgery? The Story of Elmyr de Hory

    http://www.janson.com/videos/art/forgery.html

    F for Fake – a movie bt Orson Wells

    http://hollywoodfestival.com/welles/fake.html

    Master (Con) Artist/Painting forger Elmyr de Hory's copies are like the real thing

    http://www.sfgate.com:80/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/1999/07/29/DD21995.DTL

     

     

    5.   CHANG DIA CHIEN

    (Chinese 1899-1983)

    “Chang Dai-chien looms like a giant over 20th-century Chinese art. The most versatile and colorful of China's painters in the last 100 years, Chang was a bandit, a Buddhist monk and a playboy over the course of his 84-year life. …His fakes have hoodwinked experts at the Freer Gallery of Art in Washington, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and the British Museum, among others. Joseph Chang, the curator of Chinese art at the Sackler, estimates that today every major collection of Chinese art has a Chang forgery in its midst. …Chang is believed to have created 30,000 paintings, an untold number of them bogus. “

    (Profile  from John Pomfret’s Chang Dai-chien Bibliography, Washington Post Magazine)

    http://www.sfsu.edu/~allarts/chang/changstory1.html

    Virtual China, Dec. 17 -- Masterpiece or Forgery?

    http://www.virtualchina.com/leisure/art/riverbank.html

    INREVIEW -- November 4, 1999

    http://www.feer.com/9911_04/p64inreviewa.html

     

     

    6.   ALCEO DOSSENA

    (Italian 1878-1937)

    KNOWN as the "king of forgers", he executed sculptures in styles ranging from ancient Greece to the Renaissance. From his studio in Rome he flooded the world with works buyers believed were by Giovanni Pisano, Simone Martini, Vecchietta, Donatello and Mino da Fiesole. After he sued his dealers, who he claimed had bilked him of millions of dollars when they sold his work as the real thing, Dossena enjoyed brief celebrity with an exhibition at the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art before dying a pauper.

    (Profile from the Sydney Morning Herald - Features - A brush with fame)

    http://www.smh.com.au/news/9807/18/features/features2.html )

     

     

    7.  JOHN DREW

    (English 1948-)

    His cons hit some of London’s most prestigious art institutions.  He commissioned forged paintings (see John Maytt), then forged papers concerning the painting’s provenience, and inserted those false documents in several major art libraries.  Then he would sell the forged artworks, knowing that local researchers would find his documents.  If a painting was listed by a major library as good – the sales would go forth.  For all his efforts, he’s in jail as of this writing.

    BBC News | UK | Art fraudster jailed

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/uk/newsid_279000/279937.stm

    A 20th-Century Master Scam

    http://www.nytimes.com/library/magazine/home/19990718mag-art-forger.html

     

     

    8. GUY HAIN

    (French active c.1990)

    His main idea was to approach the Rudier foundry which had been in charge of producing Rodin's bronze at the turn of the century and convince Georges Rudier and eventually his son Bernard, the grand-nephew of Eugène Rudier , the exclusive founder of Rodin and lately of the Rodin Museum who had succeeded his father Alexis , to use original moulds to make recasts so well achieved that most experts would have been fooled.  Banking on the name and reputation of Rudier, Hain went on to trick auctioneers, dealers and experts throughout the world by going as far as replacing Georges' signature by that, more prestigious, of Alexis. Consequently, thousands of fakes appeared on the market and certain pieces were sold at record prices.  Hain sold forgeries for an estimated total of 25 million dollars before a police inspector from Dijon, Burgundy, who had just dismantled the trafficking of fake Giacometti bronzes, put a stop to his illegal business in January 1992 (Profile from http://www.museum-security.org/forgeries.htm)

    Art Brief – France - Rodin forgeries

    http://www.google.com/search?q=cache:www.exhibitions.org/artbrief/number20.htm

     

     

    9. ERIC HEBBORN

    (English 1934 - 1996)

    Prolific forger and author of two books, murdered in Rome in 1996.  This master forger claims to have paintings in many major collections.   “Hebborn had produced by his own account approximately a thousand fake drawings, purportedly by such hands as Castiglione, Mantegna, Rubens, Breughel, Van Dyck, Boucher, Poussin, Ghisi, Tiepolo, and Piranesi. But that isn’t all: there has been sculpture, a series of “important” Augustus Johns, and works by Corot, Boldini, and even Hockney.”… During most of the 1970s and 80s, Hebborn lived the dolce vita in Rome, using various London dealers and galleries to dispose of his works, often at spectacular prices. (excerpt  from Denis Dutton Death of a Forger http://www.aesthetics-online.org/ideas/hebborn.html)

    THE ARTFUL FORGER'S COOKBOOK

    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/1997/int/970310/aart.the_artful.html

     

     

    10. TOM KEATING

    (English 1917-1984)

    Forger of Gainsborough, Degas, Boucher, Fragonard, Renoir, Modigliani A JOLLY, bearded cockney house painter turned artist, Keating was caught in 1976 when he tried to pass off 13 drawings as by the visionary British painter Samuel Palmer. He later confessed to having painted 2,000 "Sexton Blakes" (fakes), including works by Goya, Rembrandt, Constable, Sisley, Degas and Modigliani.

    (Profile from the Sydney Morning Herald - Features - A brush with fame)

    http://www.smh.com.au/news/9807/18/features/features2.html )

     

     

    11. FRANK X. KELLY

    (American active c. 1950’s)

    Forger noted in Thomas Hoeving’s work,  False impressions : the hunt for big-time art fakes 1996 http://www.businessweek.com/1996/23/b347894.htm

     

     

    12.  BRIGIDO LARA

    (Mexican active c.1980’s)

    Prolific 20th century forger of Pre-Columbian antiquities, he is believed to have created 3,500 fake pieces attributed to the Vera Cruz culture. Now a “fake buster” by trade.  See Hoeving Interview Class Notes: December 25, 1996

    http://www.princeton.edu/~paw/PAW96-97/07-1225/1225cns.html

    "Ruins: A History of Appropriated Objects" - San Diego Latino Film Festival Web site

    http://www.sdlatinofilm.com/cinec8.html

     

     

    13.  FERDINAN LEGROS

    (Active, 1970’s)

    Agent for several prominent forgers.  See Elmyr de Hory & Real Lessard.

    http://norway.origo.no/culture/embla/art/falsk.html

     

     

    14. REAL LESSARD

    (French Canadian 1939-)

    Noted : http://www.museum-security.org/forgeries.htm

    Lessard, Réal, 1939- L'amour du faux / Réal Lessard. Paris : Hachette, c1988.

     

     

    15. JOHN MYATT

    (English 1946-)

    Forger (artist) used by John Drew.  Produced works by Nicholson, Giacometti, Sutherland and de Stael.

    BBC News | UK | Art fraudster jailed

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/uk/newsid_279000/279937.stm

    A 20th-Century Master Scam

    http://www.nytimes.com/library/magazine/home/19990718mag-art-forger.html

     

     

    16. CLAUDE-EMILE SCHUFFENECKER

    (French 1851- 1934)

    Artist in his own right,  he was a compatriot of Gaugin and Van Gogh.  He is noted as an early forger working in the style of Van Gogh (see Otto Wacker).  His forgeries were sold in the late 1920’s as Van Gogh became fashionable.

    Newsweek U.S. Edition: The Arts: Van Gogh or No Gogh?

    http://newsweek.com/nw-srv/issue/03_97b/printed/us/at0103.htm

    Reprint: From The Art Newspaper

    http://http//www.vggallery.com/misc/fakes2.htm

    Vincent van Gogh: The Fakes Controversy

    http://192.41.62.196//misc/fakes.htm

    sacbee - Van Gogh feature story - Chapter 7

    http://www.sacbee.com/news/projects/vangogh/chapter7.html

    Artcult news 38 - Note on Schuffenecker

    http://www.artcult.com/news38.htm

     

     

    17. DAVID STEIN

    (Active c. 1970’s)

    Author, forged major artists including Chagall, Picasso, and Dufy.  Even his wife wrote a book about their forgery experience.

    Criminal case:

    http://wings.buffalo.edu/law/bclc/web/nywright.htm

    Noted : http://www.museum-security.org/forgeries.htm

     

     

    18. PAUL DESIRE  TROULLEBERT

    (French 1829-1900)

    Noted Barbizon artist also known for forging paintings by Corot.

    He is noted as one example of the many copyists of Corot.

    http://www.artcult.com/corang1.htm

    Noted : http://www.museum-security.org/forgeries.htm

     

     

    19. HAN VAN MEEGEREN

    (Dutch 1889-1947)

    THE most brilliant of modern forgers, executed dozens of works seemingly signed by the 17th-century master Jan Vermeer of Delft. Using old pigments and a bakelite-type medium that acquired centuries of hardness after a few hours in the oven, his forgeries were so good they fooled all the experts, and hung in the Boymans Museum in Rotterdam for years. He was eventually caught and charged with selling a "Vermeer" to Herman Goering for Hitler's collection and died in jail after being convicted of fraud.

    (Profile from the Sydney Morning Herald - Features - A brush with fame)

    http://www.smh.com.au/news/9807/18/features/features2.html )

    Han van Meegeren

    http://www.mystudios.com/gallery/han/index.html

    Vermeer or Not?

    http://titan.iwu.edu/~jfriedma/vermeer.htm

    An old master at copycat crimes

    http://www.smh.com.au/news/9908/27/text/features7.html

    Art Forgeries

    http://www.syntac.net/hoax/artforg.html

    Art or Forgery?

    http://www.lcl.cmu.edu/CAAE/Home/Multimedia/Meegeren.html

    Forgeries of Vermeer's paintings

    http://www-scf.usc.edu/~liokatis/Vermeer/Ver_Forgeries.html

    The Day of Van Meegeren's Trial

    http://www.alamut.com/proj/87/dayOfTrial.html

     

     

    20. OTTO WACKER

    (German active c.1930)

    Late 1920’s early 1930’s German art gallery owner; who’s specialty was selling  fake van Goghs.  His works were painted by forger Claude Emile Schuffenecker

    Newsweek U.S. Edition: The Arts: Van Gogh or No Gogh?

    http://newsweek.com/nw-srv/issue/03_97b/printed/us/at0103.htm

    Reprint: From The Art Newspaper

    http://www.vangoghgallery.com/misc/fakes2.htm

    Vincent van Gogh: The Fakes Controversy

    http://192.41.62.196//misc/fakes.htm

    sacbee - Van Gogh feature story - Chapter 7

    http://www.sacbee.com/news/projects/vangogh/chapter7.html

     

     

     

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