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Fakes, Forgeries & Frauds

Fakes, Forgeries & Frauds

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  • Hardcover 
  • 216 pages
  • 9781442274433
  • 16.15 x 1.98 x 23.5 cm
What’s real? What’s fake? Why do we care?
In this time of false news and fake science, these questions are more important than ever. 
Fakes, Forgeries, and Frauds goes beyond the headlines, tweets, and blogs to explore the true nature of authenticity and why it means so much today.

This book delivers nine fascinating true stories that introduce the fakers, forgers, art authenticators, and others that populate this dark world. Examples include:

  • Shakespeare—How an enterprising teenager in the 1790s faked Shakespeare and duped Literary London.
  • Rembrandt—How art history, connoisseurship, and science are re-shaping our view of what Rembrandt painted and how the canvas changed over time.
  • Relics—Was Saint Cecilia, the patron saint of music, a real Roman teenager who was martyred 1,800 years ago in the same place where her church stands today?
  • Jackson Pollock—How do experts pick out the real Pollocks from the thousands of fakes?
  • Nuremberg—How repeated reconstructions of medieval Nuremburg—including one by Adolf Hitler—show how historic preservation became a tool for propaganda.
Fakes, Forgeries, and Frauds also raises provocative questions about the meaning of reality. What happens when spiritual truth conflicts with historic fact? Can an object retain its essence when most of it was replaced? Why did some art patrons value an excellent copy more than the original? Why do we find fakes so eternally fascinating, and forgers such appealing con artists?

Fakes, Forgeries, and Frauds is a full-color book with 30 color photos. It shows that reality, exemplified by discrete physical objects, is actually mutable, unsettling, and plainly weird. Readers discover things that are less than meets the eye—and might even reconsider what’s real, what’s fake, and why they should care.
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