Art & Design Fake? The Art of Deception

ISBN 13: 9780520070875

Fake? The Art of Deception

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9780520070875: Fake? The Art of Deception

What is a fake and why are fakes made? Did the forgers of the Turin Shroud and Piltdown Man have the same motives? Does a famous Vermeer cease to be beautiful when it turns out to be a Van Meegeren? Is the Piranesi Vase an eighteenth-century masterpiece or a faked-up antique? Fakes, argue the contributors to this volume, have always been unjustly neglected, especially given the unparalleled evidence they provide of the values and perceptions of both those who make them and those who commission them.

Included in this major survey of fakes and forgeries from ancient Babylonia to the present day are more than 600 objects from the British Museum and other outstanding collections. There are spectacular fakes once hailed as masterpieces of ancient and modern art. There are musical instruments and manuscripts, Chinese bronzes and Chelsea porcelain. There are literary and documentary frauds and political forgeries that have changed the course of history.

Both the methods of making fakes and the recent scientific advances in their detection are described, but many puzzles remain. The book concludes with a discussion of intriguing cases like the Vinland Map, the "Aztec" rock-crystal skull, and the mysterious discoveries at Glozel, which continue to perplex curator, historian, and scientist alike.

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About the Author:

Mark Jones is Assistant Keeper, Department of Coins and Medals, British Museum. He is the author of The Art of the Medal, Medals of the Sun King, The Dance of Death, and Contemporary British Medals, and editor of The Medal and Médailles.

From Library Journal:

Fake?, the catalog of a British Museum exhibition, poses several interesting questions, among them exactly what is a fake and how it relates to a replica, an imitation, or a copy. The answers, often unclear, depend as much upon country and zeitgeist as upon the intent of the maker. The authors also remind us that faking is an important clue to the social history of an age (i.e., what's popular and why), although it can and often does distort our understanding and appreciation of the past. Several short chapters deal with the history of fakes and faking (not only of art but also of fossils, literature, historical documents, etc.) from the earliest times to the fake Rolex watches of today. An extensively annotated exhibition catalog follows. Concluding chapters deal with methods of faking, means of detecting fakes, and a discussion of items that are still under dispute and for which scientific and artistic or historical evidence do not seem to agree. An excellent choice for all libraries.
- Patricia R. Hausman, Coll. of William & Mary Lib., Williamsburg, Va.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Editorial: University of California Press (1990)
ISBN 10: 0520070879 ISBN 13: 9780520070875
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