PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – Fakes and forgeries will be the topic of discussion at many of the talks planned for the 5th annual Foundation for Appraisal Education (FAE) Seminar, on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 23-24, in the galleries of Freeman’s Auctioneers & Appraisers, located at 1808 Chestnut Street in Philadelphia. Eighteen top experts will speak over the course of the two days.
“Fakes and forgeries have been around since antiquity,” said Matthew S. Wilcox, Freeman’s Vice President of Trusts and Estates, an FAE board member and host of this year’s conference. But, Mr. Wilcox added, the problem really has gotten quite severe in recent years, as the art market has hit record prices and knock-offs have found their way into every market. Even a major international auction house illustrated what proved to be a fake Fernando Botero painting on the cover of a 1993 catalog. Evidently it fooled their specialists, as well as other experts, too.”
Appraisers attending this year’s conference will receive continuing education class credits, to remain in good standing with the International Society of Appraisers (ISA), based in Chicago, and with sister organizations like the Appraisers Association of America (AAA). As a fundraiser, the event's fees will benefit the ISA. “These organizations are critical to our field,” Wilcox said.
Books written by some of the weekend’s guest speakers have been generously donated by the Winterthur Museum in Wilmington, Delaware for conference attendees. Antique Week magazine has also generously offered to send its collection of fakes – a traveling exhibition, with real objects juxtaposed their phony counterparts – as a visual complement to the conference. On Friday evening, Sept. 23, a curated trip to Independence Hall in downtown Philadelphia is planned, led by Katie Diethorn, the Chief Curator of Independence National Historical Park.
Registration and continental breakfast will signal the start of both seminar days, at 8 am Eastern time. The lectures will begin promptly at 9 am, lasting 45 minutes each. Friday’s first speaker will be Philip Zimmerman, Ph.D., an independent furniture historian (Why Fakes Matter – Authenticating American Furniture). He’ll be followed at 9:45 by Eileen Kinsella, Senior Market Reporter for www.news.artnet.com in New York (Online Auctions, Tall Tales and Fake Art).
Next up will be Christopher Storb, the Dietrich American Foundation Project Conservator for the Philadelphia Museum of Art (The Gentle Art: Faking Furniture in the 20th Century and Beyond); followed by Elle Shushan, a Philadelphia-based specialist and dealer in the field of portrait miniatures (Imposters: Faking Faces on Portrait Miniatures). That concludes the morning talks.
At 12:30 pm a Lunch & Learn will feature Alasdair Nichol, a Vice Chairman of Freeman’s and a guest on TV’s Antiques Roadshow (Fake or Fortune). Then, at 1:45 pm, art law expert Joshua Kaufman, Esq., of Venable LLP in Washington, D.C., will discuss Case Law For Art Fakes.
At 2:30 pm, David Lindquist, owner of Whitehall at the Villa Antiques in Chapel Hill, N.C., will give a talk titled Catching Fakes, Frauds and Alterations by Samson. That will be followed by a coffee break at 3:15, then a seminar by Lisa Minardi, a Ph.D. candidate and Assistant Curator of the Wintherthur Museum in Wilmington, Del., titled Pennsylvania German Fraktur: From A-Z.
Friday’s lecture series will conclude with a discussion of Pueblo Pottery and the Market: the Martinez Family, 1890-2016 by Katharine Fernstrom, Ph.D., a teacher at various Maryland colleges and a specialist in appraising Native American art for the market. The private visit to Independence Hall will follow that, led by Karie Diethorn, Chief Curator of Independence National Historical Park. The visit is tentatively planned for around 6 pm, or about that time.
Saturday’s speaker series will kick off at 9 am with Ronald Fuchs, Curator of Ceramics for The Reeves Center at Washington & Lee University in Lexington, Va. (Most Dangerous Imitations: Chinese Export Porcelain Fakes from the First Half of the 20th Century). After that will be a seminar titled Examining Thomas Birch Prints, given by Donald H. Cresswell, Ph.D., proprietor of The Philadelphia Print Shop in Philadelphia, and a sometime expert on Antiques Roadshow.
At 11 am, Robert Trent, a Delaware-based independent furniture historian will give a talk titled Connoisseurship in American Furniture. That will be followed by a lecture by Jennifer L. Maas, Ph.D., President of Scientific Analysis of Fine Art (What is Essential is Invisible to the Naked Eye: Scientific Evidence for Marriages, Fakes and Forgeries in the Fine and Decorative Arts).
The 12:30 pm Lunch & Learn discussion will be presented by Adam Harris of the National Association of Watch & Clock Collectors (Watches: Luxury or Lie). Then, at 1:45 pm, Irina Tarsis, Esq., the founder of the Center for Law Art in New York City, will give a presentation titled Knoedler on Trial: Lessons Learned From Lawsuits Against America’s Oldest Art Gallery.
At 2:30 pm, Letitia Roberts, a New York-based independent ceramics scholar and advisor, will speak about Connoisseurship: In the Eye of the Beholder. A 3:15 coffee break will be followed by a lecture titled Embroidery: The Language of Art by Linda Eaton, a John L. and Marjorie P. McGraw Director of Collections and the Senior Curator of Textiles at the Winterthur Museum.
Saturday’s wrap-up speaker will be Thomas Folk, Ph.D., a specialist in paintings, sculptures and decorative arts (Rising Prices – Art Deco Ceramic Sculpture by Waylande Gregory and the Cleveland School). The registration fee for the seminar is $395 for both days ($220 of which is tax deductible); or $200 for one day. The deadline to register is Sept. 15. To obtain a registration form, e-mail Maureen Winer at Maureen@pwpusa.com, or call Ms. Winer at (410) 337-0085.
The Foundation for Appraisal Education was originally formed as the ISA Education Foundation under Illinois law and was granted non-profit status in 2003. In 2008, the name was changed to the Foundation for Appraisal Education (it has no affiliation with the similarly named Appraisal Foundation, a Congressionally authorized not-for-profit that also services the appraisal industry).
The FAE began awarding scholarships in 2004 and today presents scholarships of $1,000 each to one new and one experienced appraiser, plus $1,000 to one selected candidate for the Rago Auctions Scholarship in 20th Century Design. Grants for group educational opportunities, such as underwriting educational speakers for the ISA annual conference, are also awarded by the FAE.
The FAE also publishes the Journal of Advanced Appraisal Studies, launched in spring of 2008 and written specifically for personal property appraisers and those who utilize appraisal services. The Journal is a compilation of research articles, integrative reviews and topical discussions of professional appraisal issues covering a wide variety of perspectives, theories and approaches.
To fund these programs, the FAE accepts memorials and gifts from groups and individuals, as well as corporate donations and sponsorships. The group is headquartered at 201 West Lake Street (Ste. 214) in Chicago. To learn more, please visit www.foundationforappraisaleducation.org. Matthew S. Wilcox can be contacted at (215) 385-0726, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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