Art & Forgery: Why People Get Involved

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Submitted By mrivers451
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Art and Forgery: Why People Get Involved
CREA232: Art History from the 15th Century

Artists and art dealers have been forging works of art since the time of Rome. The reasons for the choice to forge works of art and the provenance of works of art can vary, but ultimately they lead back to one of two reasons: financial gain and/or to trick the art world. Crimes of forgery affect the entire art market. The entire art trade with the exception of the buyer all earns money when they handle a piece that is not what it is claimed to be. Often times the only person that loses out is the buyer when a piece is discovered to be forged.
There are three distinct types of people that contribute to forgery in the art world. The forgers themselves, the art dealers who know that a piece is fake and yet still authorize it as original and someone who finds a piece and passes it off as something else to increase its value. The most common types of forgery and deception are wholesale forgery, alteration forgery, provenance forgery and willful misattribution.
Wholesale forgery is when a piece is passed off as something that is either older than it actually is or by someone more valuable than the artist who created it. Alteration forgery is an actual work that has been altered in some way to increase its value. An example of this type of forgery is to add a signature when it was originally not there. Provenance forgery is when the paperwork that accompanies a piece of art is forged or altered. This type of forgery is much easier to do in comparison with forging a piece of work. Willful misattribution is mainly committed by art dealers and appraisers. These people that are looked at to provide guidance to those in the art market to place a value on a particular work. The expert knowingly places a mis-estimation of a value on a piece of work in order to personally make…...

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