Sunday, April 24, 2011

Non-Profit Forgery

An interesting story:
For nearly three decades, [Mark] Landis has visited ­museums across the US in various guises and tried to donate paintings he has forged. As well as Father Scott, he has posed as “Steven Gardiner” among other aliases. He never asks for money, although museums have often hosted meals for him and made small gifts. His only stipulation is that he is donating in his parents’ names – often his actual father, ­Lieutenant Commander Arthur Landis Jr, a former US Navy officer.

Landis has been prolific and amazingly persistent. A few weeks before he came to Lafayette, “Father Scott” arrived at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri, with a ­forgery of Head of a Sioux by Alfred Jacob Miller that he said he was giving in memory of his mother, “Helen Mitchell Scott”. Landis has so far offered copies of that work to five other museums. Yet in all this time, although curators speculate about his motives, no one has found out why he is doing it.


mikey said...

As long as you look at the world you find in front of the tip of your nose, you will find yourself baffled by those who take a longer view.

Stop. Think. No. THINK. Bigger and longer. You kids stop that right now, this is serious shit. Now. Where were we.

Oh yeah. You see, there are any number of metrics that might be considered profit, and any number of ways to measure them.

You need to look inside the box. Y'know?

Smut Clyde said...

I looked inside the box but there was NO CAT.

mikey said...

Not THAT box, the OTHER box!

guitarist manqué said...

Despite Franzen's slagging of him as "Mr Difficult" I was always a big fan of William Gaddis and within the nearly thousand page "The Recognitions" almost everything that can be said about art forgery is said, sometimes twice.

I had to say this to use the wv: guitar

No kidding, wv is on to me.

77south said...

So, Mikey, I looked inside the other box, and while there was no cat in that one either, there was cat POOP!

Brando said...

Maybe he's following this time-tested economic model:

1) Forge famous paintings
2) Donate them for free to museums
3) ?????
4) Profit!

Substance McGravitas said...

Do something crazy, have someone in Hollywood option it.

Worked for that Henry Rearden dude.

Hamish Mack said...

He's waiting for that time when the curator says "But we already have one!" and he says "It must be a fake let's compare them"
And then it's switcheroo time.
Classic A-team