Fine Arts Museum News

Famous Fakes Exhibit to Debut in Springfield

Michele & Donald D'Amour Museum of Fine Arts

December 19, 2013

Next month, a provocative new exhibit about art forgery will have its international debut at the Springfield Museums. Intent to Deceive: Fakes and Forgeries in the Art World will open on January 21 at the Michele and Donald D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts, and will be on display through April 27, 2014. The media sponsor for the exhibit is WGBY Channel 57.

Organized by International Arts & Artists of Washington, DC and curated by Collette Loll, Founder and Director of Art Fraud Insights, the exhibit features works by some of the world's most notorious art forgers, illuminates their dubious legacies, and examines how their skills beguiled the art world for much of the 20th century. Art fraud and forgery have characterized the dark side of the art scene for centuries, and counterfeiting of fine art has proven to be a lucrative pursuit throughout history. The art world's most notorious con artists are profiled, including Elmyr de Hory, the subject of Orson Welles’s film F is for Fake, and Mark Landis, a serial counterfeiter recently profiled in The New Yorker. These ingenious forgers shook the art field with their exploits and garnered each of them worldwide notoriety.

The exhibit is divided into sections that examine each forger's career.  On display will be art work created by the forger, personal effects and ephemera, photographs, film clips, and examples of the material and explanations of the techniques used to create these convincing artworks.  The exhibit will also explore how art experts used modern technology to unveil the forgeries. Original works by artists such as Charles Courtney Curran, Honoré Daumier, Raoul Dufy, Philip de Lászlό, Henri Matisse, Joan Mirό, Amedeo Modigliani, Pablo Picasso, Paul Signac and Maurice de Vlaminck are juxtaposed with the art of the world's most accomplished art forgers to test perceptions of authenticity. On March 9 at 2 p.m., Ms. Loll will give a special presentation about art forgery and the story behind the creation of this unique exhibit.

The D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts is also hosting two companion exhibits that explore art fraud, forgery and authentication of art work.  The Real Deal: The Art of Authenticity, examines prints in the permanent collection and further explains how art experts determine authenticity. Works by master artists Henri Matisse, Amedeo Modigliani, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Pablo Picasso, Honoré Daumier, Paul Signac, and Maurice Vlaminck will be displayed along with a discussion of provenance and insight into authenticating the prints. The second exhibit, The Connoisseurship of Currier & Ives, features a special section dedicated to authenticating lithographs published by the 19th century firm and examines the differences between original and reproduced Currier and Ives prints.

A special exhibition fee of $5 allows all visitors ages 3 and up to view Intent to Deceive as well as the forthcoming Rainforest Adventure exhibit at the Science Museum. General admission is $15.00 for adults, $10 for seniors and college students, $8 for children 3-17, and free for children under three and museum members. This fee provides admission to all four Springfield Museums. Springfield residents receive free general admission with proof of address.

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