90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Faking Fine Art

Provenance

In the world of pricey art galleries and top museums, the paper trail behind a painting is almost as important as the work itself. This documented history, a painting’s “provenance,” proves the work’s authenticity and can raise its value to staggering levels.

A new book tells the riveting true story of a con-man and a talented, struggling artist who teamed up to pull off what Scotland Yard called the “biggest art fraud of the 20th century.”

How did they do it? Why? And what did it mean for the world of art?

This hour, On Point: “Provenance.” A painter, a con-man, and a fraud for the ages.

You can join the conversation. Tell us what you think — here on this page, on Twitter, and on Facebook.

Guests:

Joining us from Albany, New York, is Laney Salisbury, co-author with Aly Sujo of the new book, “Provenance: How a Con Man and a Forger Rewrote the History of Modern Art.” 

You can read an excerpt from the book.  And on her website, Laney Salisbury offers photos of forged artworks painted by John Myatt.

And from Stoke, England, we’re joined by John Myatt. Profiled in “Provenance,” he painted over 200 forgeries that sold as the work of master artists. He served four months in prison for his role in the fraud, and now makes a living selling “legitimate fakes.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Jan 28, 2015
Vice President Joe Biden speaks at Pellissippi State Community College Friday, Jan. 9, 2015, in Knoxville, Tenn. (AP)

The promise of free community college. What it might mean for our economy and our fraying social contract.

Jan 28, 2015
tasty

Did our sense of taste make us human? From evolution to culture, a new book explores the science and perception of flavor.

RECENT
SHOWS
Jan 27, 2015
As any ant knows, building a reliable team can be hard. (Flickr / Guildmn20)

From Silicon Valley to your office, some teams work better – and smarter – than others. We’ll look at the surprising reasons why.

 
Jan 27, 2015
Leader of Syriza left-wing party Alexis Tsipras speaks to his supporters outside Athens University Headquarters, Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015. A triumphant Alexis Tsipras told Greeks that his radical left Syriza party's win in Sunday's early general election meant an end to austerity and humiliation and that the country's regular and often fraught debt inspections were a thing of the past. (AP)

A leftist victory in Greece, and anti-austerity pushback across Europe. We’ll ask where this goes.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: January 23, 2015
Friday, Jan 23, 2015

New thoughts on Facebook, new analysis of State of the Union twitter activity and new weekend excitement. New! And exciting!

More »
Comment
 
Meet On Point’s Interns: Spring 2015
Friday, Jan 23, 2015

Good news! We have interns, and they are wonderful, and here they are for the spring term. Meet them digitally, right here.

More »
2 Comments
 
Caller To Author Ron Rash: ‘You Cared About People Like Me’
Thursday, Jan 22, 2015

An unexpected caller from South Carolina brings back guest Ron Rash’s years as a community college professor in a movingly real way.

More »
1 Comment