ArtsMinded column: The difference between art fakes and forgeries
Things seem rife with prevarication these days. I came upon a story in www.news.artnet.com by Henri Neuendorf concerning fakes and forgeries in galleries and museums, world-wide. It begs to be divulged to our culturally savvy region if, for no other reason, than artists and arts afficionados need to resist the temptation to think that art is beyond reproach. Aux contraire, it sorely needs the constant light of truth shining upon it.
Professor Noah Charney, author and founder of the Association for Research into Crimes Against Art, explains the difference between fakes and forgeries: "A fake is a pre-existing work of art that has been altered in some way to fraudulently increase its value, while a forgery is a new work created from scratch in fraudulent imitation of something else or the style of another artist."
Examples of frauds of this sort are to be found at the Musee Terrus in southern France where art tourism is an important revenue source for the artist's home town of Elne. The town spent large sums to acquire Terruses which were later discovered not to be his. Sloppily redone or misspelled signatures and landmarks which did not exist during Terrus' lifetime are examples. Misrepresenting his work is even more unfortunate since it diminishes Terrus' rightful place in history, not only as a notable artist, but also as a contemporary of Matisse and forerunner of Fauvism.
Charney acknowledges that most mainstream galleries' holdings are authentic. Due to limited resources, however, smaller museums may be more vulnerable to this type of crime. More than 50 percent of the pieces gracing the walls of Frances' Musee Terrus are fakes, giving evidence that oversight is crucial for preserving authenticity in the art world.
Events and opportunities
Members Spotlight: Call for artists' submissions by July 20, The Phipps Center for the Arts, 109 Locust, St., Hudson, www.thephipps.org
Continuing through June 8, River Falls Public Library, 140 Union St., Jeju, The Treasure Island, a stunning photography exhibition of the province of Jeju, a world heritage site, volcanic island, lava tubes and glimpse into the lives of Haenyeo women divers.
Continuing through October 7, RFPL, in partnership with Chapter 2 Books of Hudson, features visits by best-selling authors. 715-425-0905
Friday, June 8, 4-7 p.m., River Falls Community Arts Base, Artful Friday opening reception, Arts' House, 108 E. Maple, RF
Friday, June 8, 4-7 p.m. opening reception, Gallery 120, 120 N. Main St., River Falls.
Thursday, June 14, 6-9 p.m., ArtReach, 123 Second St. N., Stillwater, Minn. One Square Foot, art auction. Celebrate and raise funds for ArtReach St. Croix, support literary, visual, performing arts in the St. Croix Valley.
Saturday, June 16, 5 p.m., Tribute to Bruce Foster: Hammond Arts Alliance, Foster Hall, 865 Davis St., Hammond. Reading by Scott Vetsch, 7 p.m., music by Geno LaFond and Amy Grillo, 8 to 11 p.m., Ras' on Main.
Tuesday, June 19, 7 p.m., Dusty Heart opens the UWRF Summer Concert Series, Melvin Wall Amphitheatre (rain site, University Center), Tuesdays through Aug. 7. www.uwrf.edu/StudentInvolvement
Thursday, June 21, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., St. Croix National Scenic Riverway celebrates its 50th anniversary and Pride on the St. Croix. St. Croix Valley LGBTQIA are invited to paddle between Minnesota Interstate State Park and Osceola Landing. www.nps.gov
Friday, June 22, 7 p.m., Danger Rangers open the summer season, RF CAB Music in the Park. Chris Silver and The Good Intentions Saturday, June 23, 7 p.m., Veteran's Park, Main St., RF.
Friday 7 p.m. and Saturday 2 p.m., June 22-23, Prairie Fire Theatre's Midsummer Night's Dream, RF High School.
Friday, June 22, 6:30 p.m., The Phipps, Hudson, opening reception, 20 poets, 21 visual artists collaborate. thephipps.org
Tuesday, June 26, 7 p.m., The KIDS From Wisconsin, UW-RF Wall Amphitheatre (rain site, River Falls High School).
Friday, June 27 through Aug. 26, with reception July 6, 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Summer Exhibit, The Orange Dragon Gallery, 122 Orange St., Prescott. Spring Exhibit also continuing through June 24. 715-262-4122, www.orangedragongallery.org
Thursday, June 28, 7 p.m., 132nd Army Guard Band, UWRF Kleinpell Fine Arts. Free. Check location at www.uwrf.edu/music/events