Art: Authenticity, Restoration, Forgery


ISBN: 978-1-938770-08-1
Publication Date: Dec 2016
Price: Pb $60, eBook $30
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David A. Scott

“Comprehensive in its research, careful in its construction, this well-written volume brings together an extraordinary breadth of information with clarity and authority. It is both enjoyable and informative, and provides a substantial contribution to the field.”
 — Barbara Borghese, International Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works, 2017

This book presents a detailed account of authenticity in the visual arts from the Palaeolithic to the postmodern. The restoration of works of art can alter the perception of authenticity, and may result in the creation of fakes and forgeries. These interactions set the stage for the subject of this book, which initially examines the conservation perspective, then continues with a detailed discussion of notions of authenticity, and the philosophical background.  There is a disputed territory between those who view the present-day cult of authenticity as fundamentally flawed, and those who have analyzed its impact upon different cultural milieus, operating across performative, contested, and fragmented ground. Case studies that explore the ideas of conceptual, aesthetic, and material authenticity provide a informative discourse about art from the ancient to the contemporary, illuminating concerns relating to restoration and art forgery. 

Table of Contents
  • Ch. 1 Authenticity and Conservation: An Introduction 
  • Ch. 2 The Cult of Authenticity 
  • Ch. 3 Authenticity, Monuments, and the International Charters 
  • Ch. 4 Different Approaches to Authenticity 
  • Ch. 5 The Ancient Old World 
  • Ch. 6 The Ethnographic and the Authentic 
  • Ch. 7 Considerations of Medieval Authenticity
  • Ch. 8 The European Renaissance and Beyond
  • Ch. 9 From the Baroque to the Early Twentieth Century 
  • Ch. 10 The Modern, Postmodern, and Contemporary 
  • Ch. 11 Some Final Thoughts and Reflections 
  • Glossary of Terms