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Art December, 24 2009

Provenance: How a Con Man & Forger Rewrote the History of Modern Art

Here’s what I am reading over the coming holiday week. After finishup The Billionaire’s VinegarProvenance: How a Con Man & Forger Rewrote the History of Modern Art which documents the “unregulated” and sometimes fraudulent world of the global wine market, I had to dig my teeth into another nasty category: art forgeries. Provenance: How a Con Man and a Forger Rewrote the History of Modern ArtProvenance: How a Con Man & Forger Rewrote the History of Modern Art covers this topic and the description tells it best.

Provenance is the extraordinary narrative of one of the most far-reaching and elaborate deceptions in art history. Investigative reporters Laney Salisbury and Aly Sujo brilliantly recount the tale of a great con man and unforgettable villain, John Drewe, and his sometimes unwitting accomplices. Chief among those was the struggling artist John Myatt, a vulnerable single father who was manipulated by Drewe into becoming a prolific art forger. Once Myatt had painted the pieces, the real fraud began. Drewe managed to infiltrate the archives of the upper echelons of the British art world in order to fake the provenance of Myatt’s forged pieces, hoping to irrevocably legitimize the fakes while effectively rewriting art history.

Published by Penguin Press.

Available now through AmazonProvenance: How a Con Man & Forger Rewrote the History of Modern Art .

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