Byline: Hilary Shenfeld Daily Herald Staff Writer
As a rule, visitors to Chicago museums don't have to worry that the works of art on display are fakes.
That famous Seurat, "A Sunday on La Grande Jatte," at the Art Institute of Chicago? It's real. "American Gothic?" It's the real deal, too.
Museums go to great lengths to ensure that their paintings, drawings, sculptures or other works are authentic.
But every once in a while, an outright forgery - or more commonly, a work believed to have been produced by one artist and later found to have been made by someone else - slips through.
"It's not happening in every museum every week, but it does happen," said Mimi Gaudieri, executive director of the Association of Art Museum Directors.
It's happened, in fact, right here at the Art Institute of Chicago.
The Michigan Avenue museum, along with others around the country, makes every effort to weed out fakes. They employ both low-tech methods - tracing the history of a piece, eyeballing it to see if the style matches well-established examples - and newer …