The Many Faces of Art Forgery: From the Dark Side to Shades of Gray

Rowman & Littlefield. Feb. 2022. 304p. ISBN 9781538158005. $36. FINE ARTS
Former philosophy professor and art gallery owner Casement (Making College Right: Heretical Thoughts & Practical Proposals) parses theories about this intriguing subject’s ethics and economics. In so doing, he highlights the historical and psychological context surrounding 80 perpetrators of art forgery and the prosecution of (mostly) Western fake art from antiquity to modern times. While the book’s format and notes are clearly constructed for a general audience, its narrative voice is uneven as it attempts to adequately cover and explore many angles. The tone is at times conversational and informative, but then, shifts as it is weighted with cerebral moral arguments honed for more philosophical debate.
VERDICT This carefully organized exposition is light on the sensational and, while not strictly scholarly, contains heady discussion on many facets of this captivating topic that apparently is here to stay. The discussion moves from academic to casual and vice versa in sometimes distracting ways, but those looking for a multidisciplinary approach may not mind the occasional large dose of philosophical fascination.
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