"[P]rovides a treasure trove of information that will engage readers intrigued by but new to the subject of art forgery as well as those with an art or art history background." Booklist, Starred Review
Forgery is a provocative presence in the art world that captures attention in the press and inspires books about the exploits of famous fraudsters as well as scholarly articles and monographs. But missing until now has been a big-picture look at the phenomenon of art forgery. The Many Faces of Art Forgery provides a unique treatment that features historical highlights, philosophical insights, psychological profiles, economic theories, and legal statutes and cases.
Key features include:
In all, readers will understand the substantial place forgery occupies in the realm of art, as well as that what constitutes authentic versus inauthentic is not always clear-cut, nor are legal and moral judgments about forgery. In conveying this message, the author provides a wealth of information in an accessible and engaging style suitable for experts and general readers alike.
William Casement is a philosopher, writer, and former art dealer and gallery owner. He holds a PhD in philosophy from Georgetown University and left a successful career as a professor to join the art business world. His writings span several fields including art, where his various articles on forgery range from scholarly expositions to an account of his personal experiences as a dealer. He currently lives in Naples, Florida.
I: The Presence of Art Forgery
Before the Renaissance
Renaissance through 17th Century
18th and 19th Centuries
Into the 20th Century
From the Less Notorious to the Virtually Unknown
Confronting Art Forgery
II: What is a Forgery? What is Authentic?
III: A Face-Off of Value
The Mind of the Forger
Mitigated Culpability and Alternative Economics
The Perfect Fake
IV: Reflections on the Big Picture
“Forgery is not everywhere in the art world, but the uncomfortable reality is that it can be anywhere,” writes former art dealer Casement in this illuminating survey. Just as beauty is thought to be in the eye of the beholder, Casement argues the concept of authenticity can also be interpreted subjectively and culturally. To that end, he takes a fascinating look at the long history of art forgery, from ancient Roman times—when “exorbitant prices” driven by avid collectors (including Caesar) led artisans to produce numerous copies “fashioned after Greek masters”—up to the present, when an unprecedented number of fakes flood the market (with the art of 17th-century French painter Corot being a favorite target). Casement uses forgery as a lens through which to ask striking questions of greed, acquisitiveness, duplicity, racism, and other aspects of human frailty.... This serves as a potent reminder that caveat emptor remains in full force today.
Casement, a philosopher and former professor and art dealer, provides a treasure trove of information that will engage readers intrigued by but new to the subject of art forgery as well as those with an art or art history background. This comprehensive history of forgery around the world covers the motivations and techniques of forgers and the economic impact and ethical issues involved with counterfeit artworks.
Former philosophy professor and art gallery owner Casement parses theories about this intriguing subject’s ethics and economics. In so doing, he highlights the historical and psychological context surrounding 80 perpetrators of art forgery and the prosecution of (mostly) Western fake art from antiquity to modern times.... This carefully organized exposition is light on the sensational and, while not strictly scholarly, contains heady discussion on many facets of this captivating topic that apparently is here to stay.
Based on deep scholarship across a remarkably broad field, yet written with a light touch…a notably excellent book of importance and potentially wide interest.
This is an extremely well researched and structured book that does not overlook a single relevant issue in the area of art fraud while presenting the topic in a very accessible way.
Takes the reader on a provocative and highly informative trek through the world of art fraud, profiling cases and bad actors and controversial perspectives on authenticity.
Provides a truly panoptic yet readable insight into the multi-faceted ‘discipline’ of art forgery, through the eyes, and with the anecdotal colour, of a seasoned and experienced art professional.
Includes 24 photographs, most of forgeries with interesting backstories.
1/13/22, Choice: This title was included in a roundup of “Forthcoming Titles in Art & Architecture 2022.”