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Uncover the Art of Deception at the Clark September 30

For Immediate Release

September 17, 2009

What one person can create, another can fake or forge. Forensic paper historian and author Peter Bower will present the intriguing lecture “Fakes and Forgeries: The Art of Deception” on Wednesday, September 30, at 7 pm, at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. Admission to the lecture is free.

Bower will base his lecture on the investigations and discoveries made in various cases including a group of supposedly “early nineteenth-century” watercolors; Leon Warnerke, perhaps the greatest banknote forger ever; and the German forgery of British paper money during World War II. Bower will cover the physical investigation of the objects involved, the interpretation of those findings and the techniques used by the forgers, emphasizing the importance of background research and the collaboration between investigators. Other areas covered will include some of the basic dynamics of forgery, including one of the most important elements of any successful forgery—the manipulation of the victim by the forger. Bower will also discuss famous historical cases such as the British Government’s forgery of assignats, French Revolutionary money.

Bower is a forensic paper historian and analyst specializing in the examination of paper for the purposes of dating, attribution, and usage for museums, galleries, lawyers, police, and private individuals around the world. Recent work has included involvement in the re-discovery of a Michelangelo drawing and the analysis of the Black Diaries of Sir Roger Casement. He is the author of Turner’s Papers: A Study of the Manufacture, Selection, and Use of His Drawing Papers, 1787-1820 and Turner's Later Papers: A Study of the Manufacture, Selection, and Use of His Drawing Papers, 1820-1851, published to accompany exhibitions at Tate Britain. His current major research project is the papers used by John Constable.

The Clark is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, MA. The galleries are open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm (open Mondays in July and August). Admission June 1 through October 31 is $12.50 for adults, free for children 18 and younger, members, and students with valid ID. Admission is free November through May. For more information, call 413-458-2303 or visit clarkart.edu.

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