Magazine article The Wilson Quarterly

If You Squint, It's a Picasso

Magazine article The Wilson Quarterly

If You Squint, It's a Picasso

Article excerpt

A 28-painting forgery shook the art world last winter, serving as an unwelcome public reminder of the blossoming art forgery trade. The Canyon Suite, a collection of watercolors held by the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City, Missouri, and supposedly painted by Georgia O'Keeffe between 1916 and 1918, was found to be painted on paper from the 1930s and '60s. It is still not known whether the watercolors were deliberately forged or just mistakenly attributed. But the affair rattled dealers, museums, and collectors all over the world.

The scandal is not an isolated one--the New York Times has reported that "between 10 and 40 percent of pictures by significant artists for sale are bogus." Thomas Hoving, former director of New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art, has said that during his tenure a full 40 percent of the artworks considered for purchase were either phony or over-restored to the point of being fake. …

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