Contact theSOPAbout theSOPSupport theSOPWritersEditorsManaging Editors
theSOP logo
Published:March 25th, 2006 16:45 EST
Degas & Giacometti Fakes in Vero Beach, FL

Degas & Giacometti Fakes in Vero Beach, FL

By SOP newswire2

DEGAS & GIACOMETTI
FAKES

in the An Impressionist Eye:
Painting and Sculpture from the Philip and Janice Levin Foundation
exhibit

The Vero Beach Museum of Art`s upcoming January 28 to April 23, 2006 An Impressionist Eye: Painting and Sculpture from the Philip and Janice Levin Foundation exhibit, organized by the American Federation of Arts, contains three non-disclosed fakes, falselyattributed to Edgar Degas and Alberto Giacometti as bronze sculptures. "

Both the artists Edgar Degas (died 1917) and Alberto Giacometti (died in 1966) were dead when these so-called bronze sculptures " were actually posthumously reproduced with counterfeit signatures applied respectfully in 1919 or later and 1981.

By definition, rule of law and laws of nature, dead men don`t create sculpture, much less sign it. This Press Release documents this fraud.

EDGAR DEGAS

The so-called Edgar Degas` Dancer Holding Her Right Leg with Her Right Hand " and the Dancer Putting on Stocking " have never been seen by Edgar Degas. They were posthumously reproduced some two years or more after Edgar Degas` death in 1917.
The date of their 1919 or later reproduction is confirmed by a prior venue`s exhibition checklist from the Taft Museum of Art: 8. Edgar Degas - Dancer Holding Her Right Leg with Her Right Hand, cast 1919-21 after wax original of ca. 1882-95 - Signed and numbered 68/Q - Patinated bronze - 19 " inches high " and 9. Edgar Degas Dancer Putting on a Stocking, cast 1919 after wax-and-wire original of ca. 1896-1911 - Signed and numbered 29/G - Patinated bronze - 18 " inches high ".
U.S. Copyright Law states a work of visual of art ", ie-- sculpture ", must be signed and numbered " by the artist and reproductions " cannot be attributed to an artist, living or dead.
U.S. Copyright Law states a ie. must be by the artist and cannot be attributed to an artist, living or dead.
U.S. Copyright Law states a ie. must be by the artist and cannot be attributed to an artist, living or dead.

U.S. COPYRIGHT LAW
This confirmed by U.S. Copyright Law`s 101. Definitions and 106A Rights of certain authors to attribution and integrity that, in part, respectfully states a work of visual art ", ie- sculpture ", must be 200 or fewer that are consecutively numbered by the author and bear the signature or other identifying mark of the author " and attribution - shall not apply to any reproduction. "
Clearly, since anything posthumously reproduced would be at best a reproduction, " why would the Vero Beach Museum of Art accept it anywhere else than in their gift shop?

ALBERTO GIACOMETTI
The so-called Alberto Giacometti`s Bust of Diego, " in the exhibit, has never been seen by Alberto Giacometti. It was posthumously reproduced in 1981, some fifteen years after Alberto Giacometti`s death in 1966.

The date of it`s 1981 reproduction is confirmed by in a prior venue`s exhibition checklist from the Taft Museum of Art: 11. Alberto Giacometti - Bust of Diego, cast ca. 1981 after composition of 1954 - Signed and numbered 8/8 - Patinated bronze - 10 " inches high. "

Aside the posthumous application of a counterfeit signature to create the illusion that Alberto Giacometti created it, much less approved it, French law mandates reproductions must carry in a visible and indelible manner the notation "Reproduction`. "

FRENCH LAW

This is confirmed by the March 3, 1981 French decree no. 81.255, Article 9. In part, it states: Article 9-- All facsimiles, casts of casts, copies, or other reproductions of an original work of art as set out in Article 71 of AppendixI of the General Code of Taxes, executed after the date of efectiveness of the present decree, must carry in a visible and indelible manner the notation "Reproduction`. "

This is noted just in case anyone would argue, as many in the museum industry have, that somehow these non-disclosed fakes adhere to French Law. Fortunately, in any case, the Vero Beach Museum of Art is not in France and the State of Florida is not a French province.
In otherwords, despite mandating full disclosure of reproductions as reproductions, " French law has no legal jurisdiction in America.

 
VERO BEACH MUSEUM OF ART`S MISSION
The Vero Beach Museum of Art`s Mission " posted on their www.vbmuseum.org/ index.cfm?method= GeneralInfo.Mission website states they are: an accredited museum providing cultural leadership and enrichment for the public through a wide variety of educational, studio art, and humanities programs; a diversity of quality exhibitions; and the collection, preservation, and presentation of important American and international works of art. "

AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF MUSEUMS
The Vero Beach Museum of Art was at one time an accredited member of the American Association of Museums. The American Association of Museums` Guidelines on Exhibiting Borrowed Objects " states: Ensuring that the museum determines that there is a clear connection between the exhibition of the object(s) and the museum `s mission, and that the inclusion of the object(s) is consistent with the intellectual integrity of the exhibition. "

Would Vero Beach Museum of Art`s inclusion of three non-disclosed fakes not created, approved or signed by the Edgar Degas and Alberto Giacometti and passed off as works of art " ie. bronze sculptures " be consistent with the intellectual integrity of the exhibition? "

WHAT`S IN IT FOR THE VERO BEACH MUSEUM OF ART?
The Vero Beach Museum of Art, other museums and cultural institutions, that accept these three non-disclosed fakes for exhibit from the organizer American Federation of Arts, generate potential revenue by: 1) charging admission, 2) receiving city, state and federal grants (National Endowment for the Arts` $10,000 grant), 3) generating corporate sponsorship money to defray exhibit costs, 4) selling related items in their museum gift shops and 5) attracting wealthy patrons who may make donations of money and/or art.
 
The Vero Beach Museum of Art, other museums and cultural institutions, that accept these three non-disclosed fakes for exhibit from the organizer American Federation of Arts, generate potential revenue by: 1) charging admission, 2) receiving city, state and federal grants (National Endowment for the Arts` $10,000 grant), 3) generating corporate sponsorship money to defray exhibit costs, 4) selling related items in their museum gift shops and 5) attracting wealthy patrons who may make donations of money and/or art.
 
The Vero Beach Museum of Art was at one time an accreditedmember of the American Association of Museums. The American Association of Museums` states: Would Vero Beach Museum of Art`s inclusion of three non-disclosed fakes not created, approved or signed by the Edgar Degas and Alberto Giacometti and passed off as ie. be The Vero Beach Museum of Art, other museums and cultural institutions, that accept these three non-disclosed fakes for exhibit from the organizer American Federation of Arts, generate potential revenue by: 1) charging admission, 2) receiving city, state and federal grants (National Endowment for the Arts` $10,000 grant), 3) generating corporate sponsorship money to defray exhibit costs, 4) selling related items in their museum gift shops and 5) attracting wealthy patrons who may make donations of money and/or art.

HOW DOES THE AMERICAN FEDERATION OF ARTS BENEFIT?
Aside from generating revenue by renting these three non-disclosed fakes to museums and cultural institutions, the real benefit, for the American Federation of Arts and the collectors they represent, comes when these three non-disclosed fakes are exhibited in museum venues and are given the rubber-stamped air of authenticity that a museum inherently bestows. The result being potentially higher appraised value for these three non-disclosed fakes with the possible future windfall being: 1) large tax-write offs for donations and/or 2) outright sales.

CONCLUSION

What needs to be accomplished is the full and honest disclosure of reproductions " as REPRODUCTIONS " by all museums, auction houses and art dealers. If the Vero Beach Museum of Art, all other participating museums and the organizer American Federation of Arts-- in this An Impressionist Eye: Painting and Sculpture from the Philip and Janice Levin Foundation exhibit-- will give full and honest disclosure for all reproductions " as  REPRODUCTIONS " it would allow museum patrons to give informed consent if they chose to pay admission to see these reproductions " in this exhibit.

But if these objects are not reproductions " or copies of the artist`s original artwork but second generation or more removed fakes " and/or with counterfeit signatures posthumously applied, creating the illusion the artist created it-- much less signed it, then serious consequences of law may come into play for those who chose to profit by misrepresenting these three non-disclosed fakes " as works visual of art. "

The reputations and legacy of living and past artists, present and future museum art patrons and the art-buying public deserve the re-establishment of the obvious: that the living presence and participation of the artist to once again be required, as it always should have been, to create the piece of art attributable to the artist-- if, indeed, it is attributed to them, much less purported to have been signed by them.

FOOTNOTES:

1.   On page 617 in the Seventh Edition Black`s Law Dictionary the term fake " is defined: Something that is not what it purports to be. "
2.   On page 618 in the Seventh Edition Black`s Law Dictionary the term false " is defined: Untrue, 2. Deceitful; lying, 3. Not genuine; inauthentic - What is false can be so by intent, by accident, or by mistake. "
3.  
www.vbmuseum.org/index. cfm?method=Exhibition.ExDetail&ID= 153
4.   (May 9, 2005 email) Dear Mr. Arseneau, Thank you for your interest in the upcoming exhibition "An Impressionist Eye" at the Taft Museum of Art. Attached you will find the checklist. May I ask which publication you are working with?
On page 617 in the the term fake " is defined: On page 618 in the the term false " is defined: (May 9, 2005 email)

I understand you are interested in the sculptures displayed in the exhibition.
The bronze sculptures by Degas and Giacometti included in this exhibition are posthumous casts made under the authority and supervision of the artists` estates. Following standard museum practice, the exhibition publication and wall labels clearly state the date of the original model along with the casting date of the pieces in the show. The Degas` sculptures are labeled as Hebrard editions, and the Giacometti sculpture is labeled as being made by the Susse Fondeur, Paris.

The practice of making posthumous casts was widespread and well accepted in 19th century France, and continued into the 20th century. Degas` heirs were acting on standard practice in authorizing a limited edition of casts to be made, and made them with no intention to create confusion as to their origin or date. Degas` casts were made in limited editions by the same technicians who worked for the most accomplished artists of the day. The works were cast by the studio of Adrien A. Hebrard.

The Giacometti Bust of Diego was made under the authority of the artist`s estate at the Susse Foundry in Paris in an edition of eight.

Collectors and museums have acquired and accepted these posthumous casts for decades as tangible records of the artists` three dimensional work and valuable evidence of his working methods. These works are not considered fakes, nor are they reproductions " in the sense that this word is usually understood to mean: an unlimited number of facsimiles made by mechanical means. The quality of the bronzes is regarded by specialists as very high.
Regards, Alex Breyer

Alexander P. Breyer
Manager of Marketing and Communications
Taft Museum of Art 316 Pike Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202 -4293
513-684-4529
513-241-2266 fax
www. taftm

One Family`s Treasure. Art for All. "
5.     On page 670 in the Seventh Edition Black`s Law Dictionary the term fraud " is defined: A knowing misrepresentation of the truth or concealment of a material fact to induce another to act to his or her detriment. "
6.     Page 281 in Jean Chatelain`s 13. An Original in Sculpture " essay published in the National Gallery of Art`s 1981 Rodin Rediscovered catalogue ISBN 0-89468-001-3 (pbk.) AACR2
7.     As of January 17, 2006 the Vero Beach Museum of Art is not a current memeber of the American Association of Museums or the Association of Art Museum Directors. This was confirmed directly by telephone with the AAM (212) 289-9125 and AAMD (212) 249-4423.
8.     On the VeroBeach Museum of Art`s
www.vbmuseum.org/index.cfm?method=GeneralInfo.Admission website, under Gallery Admission, " it states: The Museum is open to the public. Admission to general exhibitions and education wing exhibitions is free. For some special exhibitions, a variable admission fee will apply. " That admission fee " of $10 " per adult for the upcoming Impressionist Eye " exhibit was confirmed on January 17, 2006 by telephone (772) 231-0707 to the Vero Beach Museum of Art.
9. www.nea.gov/grants/recent/04grants/CAREC.html
Vero Beach Museum of Art Vero Beach, FL
$10,000
To support the exhibition
An Impressionist Eye: Painting and Sculpture from the Philip and Janice Levin Foundation. The VBMA will host this nationally touring exhibition of painting and sculpture by notable representatives of French Impressionism, including Bonnard, Degas, Monet, Morisot, Pissarro, Renoir, and Vuillard, in conjunction with its twentieth-anniversary celebration and special public programs. "

BIO:
An independent scholar, Gary Arseneau has authored and self-published the books The Monument to Victor Hugo DECEPTION, The marketing and profit of inauthentic " and counterfeit " Degas Bronzes, Casting Doubt and The Gates of Hell, Are these really Rodins?
An independent scholar, Gary Arseneau has authored and self-published the books and

Additionally, as an artist and printmaker of original lithographs, Gary Arseneau has published and distributed worldwide dozens of press releases documenting the misrepresentation of reproductions as original printmaking. These include, but not limited to, the misrepresentation of photo-mechanical and/or chromist-made reproductions as the Art of Dr. Seuss, " Artwork of John Lennon, " Norman Rockwell lithographs, " Jerry Garcia lithographs " and Thomas Kinkade lithographs. "

Gary Arseneau`s allegations of art fraud have been published by dozens of newspapers and magazines around the world, including but not limited to, Art & Auction, London Times, Wall Street Journal, Australian Financial Review, Globe and Mail (Toronto) and Winston Salem Journal. Additionally, television news affiliates in Minneapolis (Minnesota), Detroit (Michigan), Jacksonville (Florida), Tulsa (Oklahoma), Buffalo (New York) and others have televised news stories of art fraud as documented by Gary Arseneau.

Furthermore, he participated as one of the featured speakers in the November 2001 Rodin " symposium held at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, Canada. At this symposium, Gary Arseneau documented that seventeen of the 18 so-called Rodins, " on exhibit at the ROM from the MacLaren Art Centre, were fake with counterfeit signatures applied.

On the November 7, 2001, the Globe and Mail newspaper published the Rodin at ROM are fakes, art sleuth tells symposium " article by James Adams. The reporter wrote that the senior curator of the MacLaren/ROM exhibition David Schaff called Mr. Arseneau `s line of reasoning a reductio ad absurdum " and said the Floridian used definitions and legal precedents that disenfranchise " earlier, valid viewpoints while denying the legitimate pleasures to be had from the MacLaren collections. "

Gary Arseneau has taken the common sense perspective that dead men don`t create art. " To refute this, some in the museum and auction house industry have spoken out against him. For example, in a January 13, 2002 Grand Rapids Press published Rodin exhibit dogged by challenge to several works` originality " article by Pat Shellenbarger, in response to Gary Arseneau`s remark that dead people don`t make art, " senior vice-president of Sotheby`s John Tancock is quoted as stating: he`s 100 percent wrong. " In an earlier August 31, 2001 Las Vegas Sun published Rodin exhibit reopens lively authenticity debate, Can bronzes cast after death of artist be called original? " article by Kimberley McGee, this same senior vice-president of Sotheby`s is quoted stating: you have to get away from focusing on the fact that they are posthumous. "
 
Gary Arseneau has taken the common sense perspective that dead men don`t create art. " To refute this, some in the museum and auction house industry have spoken out against him. For example, in a January 13, 2002 Grand Rapids Press published the Rodin exhibit dogged by challenge to several works` originality " article by Pat Shellenbarger, in response to Gary Arseneau`s remark that senior vice-president of Sotheby`s John Tancock is quoted as stating: In an earlier August 31, 2001 Las Vegas Sun published Rodin exhibit reopens lively authenticity debate, Can bronzes cast after death of artist be called original? ", an article by Kimberley McGee. This same senior vice-president of Sotheby`s is quoted stating:

The general consensus by some in the museum industry was summed up by the North Carolina Museum of Art`s curator of sculpture, David Steel, in a July 16, 2000 when Winston Salem Journal published the A Question of Ethics " article by Tom Patterson. The article presented Gary Arseneau`s allegations that 66 of the so-called Rodins, " in a North Carolina Museum of Art exhibit, were fake. In the article, it is written: For his part, Steel said he doesn`t see Arseneau `s point, and he went on to speak frankly about his anger at Arseneau for his perseverance in making it. Referring to Arseneau as obnoxious " and a maniac, " he said that within the field of Rodin collectors and scholars, he`s pissed everybody off. "

In closing, Gary Arseneau believes the living presence of the artist is required to create art much less to sign it. And he backs it up when he writes about these contentious issues of authenticity by using independent definitions he didn`t define, statutory law he didn`t legislate and historical documented references he didn`t published to reach the obvious factual conclusion that dead men don`t create art, much less sign it.
 
319 Centre Street Fernandina Beach, Florida 32034
(904) 321-0021 gwarseneau@hotmail.com