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Provenance: How a Con Man and a Forger Rewrote the History of Modern Art Hardcover – July 9, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
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About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Salisbury and Sujo have meticulously researched their subject and the book is like a fast paced thriller as we watch John Drewe manipulate and draw into the hoax, a struggling artist and parent to become a master forger. And then we follow Drewe as he cons galleries into accepting the works as genuine with an authentic provenance. One of the most fascinating aspects of the story is how Drewe faked the provenances from fabricating restoration records and receipts to manufacturing fake catalogues for art shows that never took place!
This intricate story is truly an interesting look at the world of art and forgery and provenance!
The action begins with a museum reception for Dr. John Drewe, professor of nuclear physics and art connoisseur, who has just donated two 'valuable decades-old' paintings to the museum. Dr. Drewe is accompanied by his 'research assistant' John Myatt, who is shocked to realize that he had just finished painting the valuable donated paintings. Myatt strongly protests to Drewe that the subterfuge will certainly be discovered by the museum's curators, and gets Drewe to withdraw the donation on the grounds that he'd just learned of potential problems with their documentation. Dr. Drewe instead substitutes a $20,000 donation, with promises of another $500,000 later for the museum's provenance work. The point of Dr. Drewe's generosity was to gain access to the museum's records.
Dr. Drewe and Myatt had met four years prior when Drewe responded to Myatt's ad for reproductions. Myatt had just been abandoned by his wife, along with with two babies in diapers, and was short of money. Dr. Drewe commissioned a copy, and their relationship grew over time. Meanwhile, world art prices began soaring.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Fascinating story that really dives into the art world and gives a detailed picture of a con man's world view.Published 27 days ago by Wesley N. Knepper
I love reading about this line of artwork. Makes me not want to be a forger.Published 1 month ago by M. M. Hughes
Exciting read and very educational. Everybody on my book club enjoyed this book and several people, myself included, have recommended it to others.Published 4 months ago by L. Margolin
I learned SO much by reading this book. A very well written look into the world of art, its sales and proof of value.Published 4 months ago by Lee Carver
This read like an unbelievable novel. It was thoroughly enjoyable. I laughed that the copies of some art that even fooled the experts made people feel that the copy was... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Mary Jo Jurista
One of the best books on art fraud and forgeries. Thoughtful, instructive, and helpful.Published 7 months ago by Jerry Mac
This is fact that is harder to believe than most fiction! Very eye opening and interesting insight into the world of modern art. my book club enjoyed it very muchPublished 7 months ago by EK