How A Con Man and A Forger Rewrote the History of Modern Art
Provenance is the extraordinary narrative of one of the most far-reaching and elaborate deceptions in art history. Investigative reporters Laney Salisbury and Aly Sujo brilliantly recount the tale of a great con man and unforgettable villain, John Drewe, and his sometimes unwitting accomplices.
Chief among those was the struggling artist John Myatt, a vulnerable single father who was manipulated by Drewe into becoming a prolific art forger. Once Myatt had painted the pieces, the real fraud began. Drewe managed to infiltrate the archives of the upper echelons of the British art world in order to fake the provenance of Myatt's forged pieces, hoping to irrevocably legitimize the fakes while effectively rewriting art history.
The story stretches from London to Paris to New York, from tony Manhattan art galleries to the esteemed Giacometti and Dubuffet associations, to the archives at the Tate Gallery. This enormous swindle resulted in the introduction of at least two hundred forged paintings, some of them breathtakingly good and most of them selling for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Many of these fakes are still out in the world, considered genuine and hung prominently in private houses, large galleries, and prestigious museums. And the sacred archives, undermined by John Drewe, remain tainted to this day.
Provenance reads like a well-plotted thriller, filled with unforgettable characters and told at a breakneck pace. But this is most certainly not fiction; Provenance is the meticulously researched and captivating account of one of the greatest cons in the history of art forgery.
Baker & Taylor
Recounts the activities of John Drewe, who manipulated struggling artist John Myatt and other unwitting accomplices to become prolific art forgers whose works Drewe successfully passed off as legitimate pieces that still adorn private collections, large galleries, and prestigious museums.
Recounts the activities of John Drewe, who manipulated struggling artist John Myatt and other unwitting accomplices to become prolific art forgers whose works Drewe successfully passed off as legitimate pieces.
From Library Staff
2010 nominee. "A decade-long art scam [begining in 1986] that sullied the integrity of museum archives and experts alike is elegantly recounted." - Publishers Weekly
From the critics
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