The Art Of Deception: The Science of Detecting Forgeries

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Take a look inside the most infamous forgeries of our time – the ones that were discovered, at least, in this new exhibition at Winterthur Galleries. The exhibition will feature more than 40 counterfeit or fake objects, including a Rothko forgery, a Hermes Birkin found to be fake after almost completing its stay at Spa Hermes, and a 200,000 baseball glove that did not belong to Babe Ruth. Among these rarities are countless works from the now-closed Knoedler Gallery, a New York staple which sold over 31 forged paintings to high-profile collectors for a sizeable fortune.

In addition to displaying the infamous forgeries and their stories, the exhibition will explore how experts authenticate works and discover fakes. Some of the works displayed here from the Knoedler case were praised by experts as “sublime” original works before scientific tests were conducted. The artist behind all of these works was Pei-Shen Qian, an unassuming Chinese immigrant living in Queens.

The forgers were ordered to pay 81 million dollars in compensation

The forgers were ordered to pay 81 million dollars in compensation

Among these works is a select few from Elmyr de Hory, arguably the most famous forger which created thousands of works in the styles of Picasso, Matisse, and Modigliani. Although tens of works have been identified as forgeries, there are hundreds more in private collections and museums that might never be identified. At what point does a forgery become equal to an original if no-one discovers it? Some forgeries seen at this exhibition have gained value on their own due to their infamous nature, an ironic situation for the collectors in possession of them.

For more information on this exhibition, please visit www.winterthur.org.

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