Vancouver Art Gallery Exhibit Fakes

December 15 2023

Image of Vancouver Art Gallery Exhibit Fakes


Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Vancouver Art Gallery in Canada are opening an exhibition tomorrow dedicated to 10 oil sketches they acquired in 2015 purportedly by the celebrated Canadian 'Group of Seven' artist J.E.H. MacDonald (1873–1932). Alas, it transpired that the oil sketches were all modern fakes. Rather than hide the paintings in a cupboard of regret, the gallery have bravely put on a show to explain how they came to the conclusion that the paintings were 'not right' (as it is said in the art trade).

According to the gallery's website:

In 2015, the Vancouver Art Gallery announced the acquisition of ten previously unknown painted sketches attributed to J.E.H. MacDonald, one of Canada’s most celebrated painters and a founding member of the Group of Seven. Soon after, experts in the wider arts community began to publicly raise questions about the authenticity of the ten works. Experts took sides and the Gallery ultimately postponed a planned exhibition in order to investigate the works further. This included bringing in leading art historians, handwriting experts, and the scientific resources of the Canadian Conservation Institute (CCI).

J.E.H. MacDonald? A Tangled Garden will not only provide an answer regarding whether the ten sketches can be attributed to MacDonald, but will also allow visitors a rare and detailed look into how that conclusion was reached. Most notably, the Gallery will be working closely with the CCI to present their soon-to-be published findings. Visitors will be able to assess the key evidence and come to their own conclusions.

The exhibition will run until 12th May 2024.

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