Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters

Document Type


Publication Date


Faculty Advisor(s)

Dr. Justin Walsh


Art institutions such as museums, galleries, and auction houses have for many years been characterized as reliable and trustworthy. The act of art forgery threatens this integrity and causes these institutions to rethink how they acquire artworks. My research focuses on a specific art forger, Elmyr de Hory, who became notorious for being able to reproduce works in the style of notable artists such as Picasso, Matisse, and Modigliani. By successfully selling his forgeries to multiple museums and galleries, only to be discovered later, de Hory forced institutions to reconstruct their approaches in authenticating and acquiring works of art. As part of my research, I reached out to Mark Forgy, a close friend of de Hory who has published a biography of de Hory as well as curated exhibitions about art forgery. Thanks to the undergraduate scholarly/creative grant, I was able to travel to Minneapolis where I met with Forgy, conducted multiple interviews, and toured his extensive collection of de Hory’s works. My research intends to lay out the causes and consequences of acquiring fake artworks. Some questions addressed in my research include the following: Why do so many museums fail to recognize fake artworks? What does this failure say about the value we attribute to art and to artists – that is, if we can't tell the difference between real and fake works, why does art matter? How does the acquisition of fraudulent artworks impact the museums and galleries that bought them, and the scholars who study them? Overall, I address the question of whether and how the work of Elmyr de Hory changed the way art galleries and museums acquire and analyze art today.


Presented at the Spring 2024 Student Scholar Symposium at Chapman University.