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Intent to Deceive: Fakes and Forgeries in the Art World


This ground-breaking exhibition spotlights some of the world's most notorious con artists, illuminating their dubious legacies, and examining how their talents, charm, and audacity beguiled and assaulted the art world for much of the 20th century through the present day.

Several ingenious forgers of the 20th century are profiled in this exhibition representing some of the most infamous scandals of the century. Han van Meegeren, Elmyr de Hory and Eric Hebborn all shook the art world with their exploits, garnering each of them worldwide notoriety but an untimely death. More recently, John Myatt, and Mark Landis have been in the news for their prolific and stylistically diverse art frauds, landing one in jail.

Included in each forger's profile are their original works, personal effects and ephemera, photographs, film clips, and representations of the material and techniques each used to create these convincing artworks, as well as explanations on how art experts use the latest technology to unveil their fraudulence.

Original works by artists such as Charles Courtney Curran, Honoré Daumier, Raoul Dufy, Philip de Lászlό, Henri Matisse, Joan Mirό, Amedeo Modigliani, Pablo Picasso, Paul Signac, Maurice de Vlaminck and others are juxtaposed with the art of the world's most accomplished art forgers to test perceptions of authenticity. Discovered is how these criminals plied their trade and perpetrated some of the most spectacular acts of deception in modern times!

The ultimate question proposed within Intent to Deceive one can’t help but ask is whether the uncovering of a painting’s unpalatable history actually makes it any less of a work of art. Does the discovery of a fake change our relationship with a painting? Admirers and collectors of the work of several contemporary forgers admit that they possess great art, no matter that they are forgeries. The brilliance is notable, and in fact, the murky history makes the work all the more interesting, as it gives it a story. That is the important point illustrated in this exhibition; the works have stories and drama behind them that are as fascinating as the images on their canvases.

Intent to Deceive provides a fascinating look into the psyche and behavior of these geniuses who did not choose, or were incapable of choosing, to pursue a legitimate artistic career.


The art of forgery still intrigues, as witnessed by the many recent books and exhibitions dedicated to forgeries and their consequences.


Number of Works: More than 60 works including paintings, works on paper, sculpture and ephemera
Curator: Colette Loll
Organized by: International Arts & Artists
Approximate size: 300 linear feet
Security: High security
Fee: Please inquire
Booking Period: 12 weeks
Tour: January 2014 – September 2015
Availability: Fully booked
Publication: www.intenttodeceive.org
Contact: Laila Jadallah



The Michele & Donald D'Amour Museum of Fine Arts, Springfield, MA
January 21, 2014 – April 27, 2014

John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota, FL
May 23, 2014 – August 2, 2014

Canton Museum of Art, Canton, OH
August 28, 2014 – October 26, 2014

Oklahoma City Museum of Art, Oklahoma City, OK
February 13, 2015 – May 10, 2015

Reading Public Museum, Reading, PA
June 6, 2015 – September 7, 2015




    Van Meegeren’s Fake Vermeers
    Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, 2010

    “F for Fake” original trailer
    by Orson Welles, 1976

    Eric Hebborn – Portrait of a Master Forger
    by BBC (Bravo Profiles)

    Artist and Forger John Myatt
    by American Express UK


    Celebrated art forgeries coming to Springfield Museums
    The Republican, by Ray Kelley, January 2, 2014

    So Valuable, It Could Almost Be Real
    The New York Times, by Patricia Cohen, January 1, 2014

    The Giveaway
    The New Yorker, by Alec Wilkinson, August 26, 2013

    In Praise of the Fake
    The New Statesman, by Jonathon Keats, May 3, 2013

    Not in it for the Money
    New Orleans Magazine, by Noah Charney and Mathew Leininger, November 2012

    Gleaning the True Identity of an Enigmatic Forger
    The New York Times, by Eve M. Kahn, April 7, 2011

    Elusive Forger, Giving But Never Stealing
    The New York Times, by Randy Kennedy, January 11, 2011