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Are Fakes and Forgeries Celebrated in the Art World?

You might not expect fakes and forgeries to be applauded in the art world, but the Museum of Art Fakes is entirely dedicated to celebrating the skill that went into creating copies and forgeries of famous works of art. Opened in 2005 in Vienna, Austria, the museum got its start when the famous art forger Edgar Mrugalla donated a few of his paintings. Soon, the museum was home to more than 80 art forgeries that replicated the work of great artists like Pablo Picasso and Rembrandt van Rijn. The museum distinguishes between the different types of "art fakes": a genuine fake, a standard forgery, and an identical forgery, and has specific criteria for each category.

More about art fakes and forgeries:

  • According to the Fine Arts Expert Institute (FAEI) in Geneva, an estimated 50% of artwork on the market is fake.

  • The self-taught German painter Edgar Mrugalla is believed to have forged about 3,500 famous paintings.

  • British painter Tom Keating began forging art to protest the unfairness of the art gallery system, and intentionally left hidden flaws in his paintings to be discovered later.

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More Info: Smithsonian magazine

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