Art & Authenticity

Art & Authenticity

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Megan Aldrich is Academic Director of Sotheby's Institute of Art, London and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London. She is a specialist in antiquarian interiors and the history of the gothic revival, and has numerous publications in this field, including Gothic Revival (Phaidon, 1994). Most recently she co-edited Antiquaries and Archaists: the past in the past, the past in the present (Spire Books, 2009) with Robert Wallis.

Jos Hackforth-Jones is Director of Sotheby's Institute of Art, London and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. She is a specialist in the field of portraiture and cross-cultural identities and has published widely, most recently in Edges of Empire: Orientalism and Visual Culture, co-edited with Mary Roberts (Blackwell, 2005). She was lead curator of Between Worlds: Voyagers to Britain, 1700-1850 (2007), an exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, London, for which she also edited the catalogue.

Art and Authenticity explores a range of questions around the ideas of authenticity, originality and replication in art. The authors move far beyond the fundamental question of 'Is it genuine?' to themes and definitions surrounding authenticity as a concept operating across different periods and contexts.

The chapters consider empirical aspects of art analysis but also more conceptual and theoretical understandings of authenticity. For example, is there such a thing as authentic presentation and display of artworks? Can the idea of authenticity be applied to subject-matter and style? How do the art market and the art world respond to the perceived authenticity of artworks? This book addresses a wide range of topics within the arts and will appeal to a broad readership, from students and art specialists to art-world enthusiasts. Historically, the idea of scientific verification has arisen as a reaction against the perceived excesses of the connoisseurial tradition, a tradition which has fallen from favour over the last 50 years. The idea of individual 'expert knowledge' rests uneasily in the current climate. However, recent attempts by experts to develop definitive scientific methods for authenticating artworks are also proving to be problematic. Connoisseurship, it will be argued, still has its role to play within these debates. Therefore, through the broad range of artworks and perspectives developed within this volume, the book suggests that although the concept of authenticity is not without validity or usefulness, it nonetheless poses a continually moving target within the frameworks of varied cultural and historical constructs.

The authors challenge a narrow interpretation of 'authenticity' as a concept applied to the art world, for the issues surrounding authenticity are rarely black and white.

Product Code 1035609
ISBN 9781848220980
Author Megan Aldrich - Jos Hackforth-Jones
Format Hardback
GTIN 9781848220980
Pages 272
Published December 2012
Publisher Lund Humphries
Dimensions 23.2 cm X 27 cm X 2 cm
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