False Impressions: The Hunt for Big-time Art Fakes

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Simon & Schuster, 1996 - Art - 366 pages
8 Reviews
With his trademark humor and irreverence, Thomas Hoving, former director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and bestselling author of Making the Mummies Dance, delves into an important aspect of modern culture - art forgery - to reveal the appalling scams, the duplicitous perpetrators, and the hapless dupes, from the beginning of civilization to the present. This is a big, broad book on art fakes, fakers, and suckers written in Hoving's signature style - amusing, wicked, and mischievous. From the shroud of Turin to Pre-Columbian pottery, Hoving covers the biggest, the best, the most embarrassing, and the most costly forgeries - most never before published, some he himself collected. He explains the differences between out-right forgeries and works so overly restored and tarted up the result is tantamount to forgery. Hoving exposes the scams and tells why people, including knowledgeable collectors, continue to fall for them. He characterizes the fakers, their middlemen, and the "marks", the greedy, gullible, and moneyed private collectors and institutions who got taken in by some of the most amusing and imaginative con games of all time. He examines the motives of the fakers and the dupes (it's not always money), and introduces us to the talented "fakebusters" whose job it is to expose the truth. And he answers the question, "If a fake fools everybody, why isn't it as good as the genuine article?"

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Review: False Impressions: The Hunt for Big-Time Art Fakes

User Review  - Kylie Nidever - Goodreads

This book had some very interesting information, but it was rather messily written. I had trouble following along at various points in this work. Read full review

Review: False Impressions: The Hunt for Big-Time Art Fakes

User Review  - Josh - Goodreads

This could have been a more interesting book, but often as not I found it a chore to read. The subject matter -- art fakery, the criminals who perpetrate it, and the curators and journalists who fall ... Read full review


The Giddy Ancient World
The Shrouded Middle Ages
Tricks of the Renaissance and Shams of the Baroque

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About the author (1996)

Thomas Hoving, a former director of New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art, is the man who invented the blockbuster exhibition and changed forever the sleepy world of the art museum. He has written two novels and several works of nonfiction, including the national best-seller "Making the Mummies Dance: Inside the Metropolitan Museum of Art." He was editor-in-chief of "Connoisseur" magazine and is now president of Hoving Associates Inc., an international museum and cultural affairs consulting firm.

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