Gary Arseneau - Deception: Are These Really Rodins?


Here are two published and documented examples of similar deception: 

1) In 1989, the National Gallery of Art Director J. Carter Brown referred to "the mysterious discovery of a "lost" series of 28 evocative watercolors by Georgia O’Keefe (allegedly created from 1916-1918) as: "a national treasure". Eleven years later the Santa Fe, New Mexico "Georgia O’Keefe Museum" curator Ms. Lynes, having done an intensive study of the paper used by O’Keefe, found that some of the paper used for these 28 O’Keefe watercolors was unavailable in the United States before 1930 and some not till the 1960’s. The dealer had to refund the $5 million purchase price. (March 7, 2000 New York Times article by Gretchen Reynolds) 

2) The well-known photographer Lewis W. Hine, who died in 1940, was "socially committed artist who was concerned more with substance of his image than with their finish and was not particularly known for his skills as a printer." In recent years "high quality prints by Lewis W. Hine" were turning up in increasing numbers. Then the recent discovery of hundreds of "unauthorized posthumous prints", some with his signature, apparently from Hine’s original negatives was found to be printed on paper made after 1950. During Hine’s life there was no collector’s market, he signed very few photographs and if signed most were in block letters. All the photographs in questioned are signed! One dealer was quoted: "The important thing is that if there are fakes, let’s get them off the market. " (November 1999 New York Times article by Grace Glueck) 

These two examples of deception directly show that if at "the time the piece was made" the artist was dead then common sense would dictate that it could not authentically be attributed to that artist. Hence dead people don’t make art. 

Is the issue of full and honest disclosure addressed in any state laws or statutes? Yes, California and New York are two of thirteen states in the the United States that address in law full disclosure of print and sculpture reproductions as reproductions and specifically sculpture reproductions if sold for $100 or more and $1500 or more in the respective states. 




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