Art scams are today so numerous that the specter of a lawsuit arising from a mistaken attribution has scared a number of experts away from the business of authentication and forgery, and with good reason. Art scams are increasingly convincing and involve incredible sums of money.Read more...
Art scams are today so numerous that the specter of a lawsuit arising from a mistaken attribution has scared a number of experts away from the business of authentication and forgery, and with good reason. Art scams are increasingly convincing and involve incredible sums of money. The cons perpetrated by unscrupulous art dealers and their accomplices are proportionately elaborate.
Anthony M. Amore's The Art of the Con tells the stories of some of history's most notorious yet untold cons. They involve stolen art hidden for decades; elaborate ruses that involve the Nazis and allegedly plundered art; the theft of a conceptual prototype from a well-known artist by his assistant to be used later to create copies; the use of online and television auction sites to scam buyers out of millions; and other confidence scams incredible not only for their boldness but more so because they actually worked. Using interviews and newly released court documents, The Art of the Con will also take the reader into the investigations that led to the capture of the con men, who oftentimes return back to the world of crime. For some, it's an irresistible urge because their innocent dupes all share something in common: they want to believe.
- ISBN-13: 9781137279873
- ISBN-10: 1137279877
- Publisher: St. Martin's Press
- Publish Date: July 2015
- Page Count: 272
- Dimensions: 9.61 x 6.15 x 0.97 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.02 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-05-04
- Reviewer: Staff
As head of security and chief investigator at Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Anthony Amore (Stealing Rembrandts) is privy to more information on the subject of forgeries than the average art collector or dealer, and he shares a number of those stories in this engrossing account. According to Amore, art forgery has been part of the American art scene since the country’s inception, most famously illustrated by the rampant copies of Gilbert Stuart’s portrait of George Washington that circulated at the turn of the 19th century. (That portrait now graces the $1 bill.) Rather than simply offering a laundry list of forgeries and hucksters, Amore shows the lengths forgers will go to in order to fool their patrons and the public, such as hunting down historically accurate materials (e.g., pigments), commissioning artists (“copyists”), and attempting various weathering techniques (even using a blow dryer in some cases to weather the paint). One shocking example involves surrealist artist Salvador Dalí, who as part of a lawsuit was ordered by the court to sign 17,000 blank sheets of paper, ultimately putting the provenance of his entire body of work up for debate. This is a bracing and highly informative assessment of a very real problem, sure to resonate with art fans and curators alike. Agent: Sharlene Martin, Martin Literary Management. (July)