Behind the Facade: a False Narrative of Art Authenticity

The art market has always attracted people who want to make something appear better, or to be something other, than what is actually is. This has not changed, and despite the proliferation in access to prices and other comparable data, there are numerous examples of fakes and forgeries being sold by leading auction houses in the current market. The power imbalance and inherent conflict of interest, with one type of firm attempting to serve two masters, namely auction houses serving both the buyer and the seller, are at the heart of the issue. 

This talk focuses on two particular case studies that represent a fake on the one hand and a forgery on the other, that were both sold in London a few years ago and are now in two of the leading art collections in the world and remain on display. Using a range of sources and methodologies, the true story of these deceptive objects will become clear, and they can act as cyphers for numerous other problematic items circulating in the art market today.

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  • the total duration of the event is 1h: 50mins lecture and 10mins Q&A
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Richard McClary
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Dr Richard Piran McClary is a Senior Lecturer in Islamic Art and Architecture at the University of York. He has lectured extensively on a range of subjects related to medieval Islamic art and architecture, and has conducted fieldwork in India, Iran, Turkey, Central Asia and across the Middle East. He has published two monographs with EUP; Rum Seljuq Architecture 1170-1220. The Patronage of Sultans (2017) and Medieval Monuments of Central Asia. Qarakhanid Architecture of the 11th and 12th Centuries (2020), and has published articles in numerous journals.

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