Start reading Caveat Emptor: The Secret Life of an American Art Forger on the free Kindle Reading App or on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here.
OR
Read and Listen for Free
with Kindle Unlimited

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Add Audible Narration
Caveat Emptor: The Secret Life of an American Art Forger Narrated by Dan Butler $20.97 $3.99
Enter a promotion code
or gift card
 
 
 

Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Color:
Image not available
 

Caveat Emptor: The Secret Life of an American Art Forger [Kindle Edition]

Ken Perenyi
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (206 customer reviews)

Digital List Price: $16.99 What's this?
Print List Price: $16.95
Kindle Price: $10.99
You Save: $5.96 (35%)
 
Kindle Unlimited with narration
Read and listen to this title for free and get unlimited access to over 700,000 titles. Learn More

Free Kindle Reading App Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

Audible Narration

Switch back and forth between reading the Kindle book and listening to the Audible narration with Whispersync for Voice. Add narration for a reduced price of $3.99 when you buy the Kindle book.

Formats

Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition $10.99  
Hardcover $18.93  
Paperback $14.43  
Audible Audio Edition, Unabridged $0.00 Free with Audible trial
Audio, CD, Audiobook, CD $29.95  
Lucky Life Interrupted by Tom Brokaw
Lucky Life Interrupted by Tom Brokaw
This memoir of Tom Brokaw, an anchor for many years of NBC Nightly News, recounts his diagnosis of multiple myeloma and its aftermath. Learn more | See similar books

Book Description

It is said that the greatest con man in the world is the one who has never been caught—and here for the first time is the astonishing story of America’s most accomplished art forger
 
Ten years ago, an FBI investigation in conjunction with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York was about to expose a scandal in the art world that would have been front-page news in New York and London. After a trail of fake paintings of astonishing quality led federal agents to art dealers, renowned experts, and the major auction houses, the investigation inexplicably ended, despite an abundance of evidence collected. The case was closed and the FBI file was marked “exempt from public disclosure.”
 
Now that the statute of limitations on these crimes has expired and the case appears hermetically sealed shut by the FBI, this book, Caveat Emptor, is Ken Perenyi’s confession. It is the story, in detail, of how he pulled it all off.
 
Glamorous stories of art-world scandal have always captured the public imagination. However, not since Clifford Irving’s 1969 bestselling Fake has there been a story at all like this one. Caveat Emptor is unique in that it is the first and only book by and about America’s first and only great art forger. And unlike other forgers, Perenyi produced no paper trail, no fake provenance whatsoever; he let the paintings speak for themselves. And that they did, routinely mesmerizing the experts in mere seconds.
 
In the tradition of Frank Abagnale’s Catch Me If You Can, and certain to be a bombshell for the major international auction houses and galleries, here is the story of America’s greatest art forger.


Editorial Reviews

Review

“ ” — The Smithsonian Magazine

“By his own admission, Ken Perenyi is a liar, a cheat and a thief—but to give him his due, he is also pretty brilliant. His astonishing memoir, , is by turns horrifying and hilarious. An engrossing read.” — The Wall Street Journal

“As Perenyi’s exploits grow in value and range, the threat of being caught rises and the FBI draws near.” — Publishers Weekly

“A fabulous tale of impossible events.  While my encounter with Ken Perenyi was fleeting, I long suspected he would claim his place in the dark arts of illustration and the fun of the chase. Enjoy the ride.” — Richard Neville

“Perenyi illustrates how he became America’s top art forger….Readers will be captivated as they follow the development of this remarkable talent over a 40-year career.” — Kirkus Reviews

“An extraordinary memoir is to reveal how a gifted artist managed to forge his way to riches by conning high-profile auctioneers, dealers and collectors over four decades.” — The Guardian

About the Author

Born in 1949 in Hoboken, New Jersey, Ken Perenyi is a self-taught artist who painted his first pictures during the Summer of Love in 1967, having discovered an uncanny ability to intuitively grasp the aesthetic and technical aspects of the Old Masters. A series of fateful events resulted in what was to become a thirty-year career as a professional art forger. Today he operates his own studio in Madeira Beach, Florida.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1492 KB
  • Print Length: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Pegasus Books (August 15, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008DR6ROK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #137,142 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?


Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
(206)
4.4 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
67 of 73 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
Ken Perenyi grew up in New Jersey, failed at school and seemed destined for obscurity when as a teenager he fell in with some of the drug-soaked denizens of the swinging sixties who turned him on first to acid and then to art.

In this readable but somehow elusive memoir, we learn of Perenyi's astonishing career as a forger and many of the secrets of his trade -- but we learn little to nothing of Perenyi himself. It's interesting the way he manages to reveal so much and so little at the same time.

Unlike Han van Meegeren, possibly the world's most famous art swindler who created fake Vermeers and sold them for vast sums, Perenyi was usually content to create new works by second-rank British and American artists of the 18th and 19th centuries and sell them for a few thousand dollars.

He managed to educate himself on the exact techniques of producing cracks in the paint on different surfaces, on the correct varnish, the right canvas, the antique picture frames of which he became a connoisseur, even the tiny fly droppings that accumulate on the surface of old works of art. All this knowledge he generously shares with us.

Perenyi began by specializing in nautical scenes, still lifes, American portraits and then branched out into English sporting scenes of jockeys and hounds. His biggest score was a painting auctioned for more than $700,000 by an American artists called Martin Johnson Heade of passionflowers.

All this detail is quite interesting -- but Perenyi remains an enigma. He tells us he develops a love of good food, fine wine, expensive clothes and becomes a kind of quasi English gentleman with an establishment in Bath and another in London. He is a hard worker and a hard spender.
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buyer Beware October 10, 2012
Format:Hardcover
Well into his career as an art forger, Ken Perenyi meets a reclusive, eccentric art collector living in Piermont, New York, in the Hudson Valley. Perenyi quotes Jimmy, the collector, as saying that art dealers "are a bunch of prostitutes. And their primary appreciation of a picture is its price tag." That serves as a leitmotif for Caveat Emptor, and indeed, the buyer should beware. Perenyi found his calling as an artist making fake paintings, first in the style of 17th century Dutch portraits, then moving into 19th century American and British art. In this entertaining book, he details his methods--and tells how he fell into the trade, mostly thanks to the greed of dealers--and buyers.

Caveat Emptor reads like a novel, starring a cast of characters that Donald E. Westlake would have loved: wise guy New Yorkers, crooked auction house dealers, leather clad enforcers, and even the legendary--or notorious, depending on your point of view--Roy Cohn. A longtime pal makes a habit of boosting not fancy cars but station wagons: they make hauling late-night loot easier. And then there's the artsy-fartsy Soho crowd: Perenyi glides smoothly between them all. There is as much life in the fast lane as art forgery here, but that's part of the charm, at least once the rather tiresome sixties are over with.

But it's the art forgery that were really here for, and Perenyi is happy to divulge his secrets: the statute of limitations has run out, and the FBI never got the goods on him. He started producing fakes just to see if he could, and then it became his living. He spills all the details: finding old canvases or boards to repaint, and appropriately aged wood panels (drawer bottoms from antique furniture are a good source), intently studying the styles of the original painters.
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Caveat Emptor (or "Buyer Beware") is an amazing story I can only hope someone turns into a movie. Years ago I had come across art forger Ken Perenyi's name and the magazine article intrigued me. It wasn't until this past summer that I saw him interviewed on the Today Show and I realized had "come out of hiding" and penned his incredible story. I was slightly apprehensive about buying the book only because I was afraid that a story based in and around classical artwork might fall a little flat (I love art, but I draw the line at art history as I find it can be a tad tedious for my taste).
Caveat Emptor was a page turner from beginning to end. Perenyi is far from the pretentious art aficionado I had originally pegged him for, in fact his wit, sometimes faltering self esteem (especially growing of age in the 60's and trying to figure out what he was going to do with his life) and at times self-deprecating personality gives Perenyi a very human side. The goings on in Perenyi's apartment building in NYC, then called the "The Ferguson Club", was not only hilarious, some of the characters could have all been straight out of the classic Pulitzer awarded "Confederacy of Dunces". I was so taken by the building and it's tenants I had to go and stand in front of the actual building the last time I found myself in Manhattan!
There's a part of the story when one of the forgeries is going to be cleaned by Sotheby's auction house--which puts you in the room with Perenyi and leaves you with sweaty, clammy palms. Although I didn't want the story to end, I was glad that moved so beautifully and so quickly. I would much rather be left wanting more, than to have to read too much. Well done!!!
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Medicus Gaius Petreius Ruso and wife Tilla have arrived in ...
Medicus Gaius Petreius Ruso and wife Tilla have arrived in Londinium, where friend Valens has arranged for an assignment as investigator for the tax office. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Joe Da Rold
5.0 out of 5 stars fascinating.
A fascinating account of the life of an art forger. A wild ride that left me wanting more, even at the end.
Published 2 months ago by Caddis
5.0 out of 5 stars England had Hebron and a Myatt this is the USA resident forger...
Very interesting and makes you realize super expensive art is mainly marketing .
Published 2 months ago by Ronald James Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
The book is great as was your service getting it to me
Published 2 months ago by Sanford Lipton
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great book
Published 2 months ago by Linda
4.0 out of 5 stars fascinating read
This was a fascinating account of an art forger. He also goes into detail of some of his methods on how he obtains the right aged look
Published 2 months ago by H0lyD1ver
4.0 out of 5 stars Seems like a very unusual man to be an art Forger
Very interesting life did Ken Perenyi have. Seems like a very unusual man to be an art Forger.
Published 2 months ago by Gary Steffen
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting look into the art world but...
The writing is lackluster and the characters very one dimensional but the description of how the author painted his fakes and did restorations was interesting. Read more
Published 3 months ago by S. Jensen
5.0 out of 5 stars READING IS BELIEVING
fascinating , intriguing, suspenseful and utterly unbelievable given the length of time and the close calls!!!
Published 3 months ago by Betty
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
What a great book!
Published 3 months ago by jean chase
Search Customer Reviews

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?


Forums

There are no discussions about this product yet.
Be the first to discuss this product with the community.
Start a new discussion
Topic:
First post:
Prompts for sign-in
 


Look for Similar Items by Category