Copy of Oleanders, after Vincent Van Gogh, John Myatt, 2012, mixed media on canvas.

Treasures on Trial: The Art and Science of Detecting Fakes

Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike (Route 52)
Wilmington, Delaware

The exhibition will examine artwork, couture, silver, sporting memorabilia, wine, musical instruments, antiquities, and stamps along with ceramics, furniture, and folk art. This broad selection of luxury and everyday objects further illustrates that rarity, supply, and desirability can make anything fair game for a clever forger or fraudster intent on turning a handsome profit.

Winterthur’s conservators, scientists, and technicians are leaders in the field of scientific analysis of fine art and antiques, and its curatorial team is renowned for their connoisseurship skills. Scientific analysis and stylistic clues will be presented alongside artwork and objects, exposing the broad range of motives and techniques used to test and fool collectors and experts. These tricks of the trade will also reveal fascinating stories about the forgers themselves.

Together with fraud expert Colette Loll of Art Fraud Insights LLC, Winterthur’s Director of Collections and Senior Curator of Textiles Linda Eaton will introduce some of the most famous forgery scandals of the twentieth century.

Treasures on Trial will examine intriguing questions such as: What gets faked and why? How do you spot a fake? How does scientific methodology assist in this? Visitors will be invited to investigate several unresolved examples and share their opinion about the authenticity of the object based on the available evidence.

*Image at top: Copy of Oleanders, after Vincent Van Gogh, John Myatt,  2012, mixed media on canvas. Courtesy of Washington Green Fine Art

Presented by DuPont.  Funded in part by Freeman's.

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