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Authenticating Art by Valuing Art Experts

53 Pages Posted: 10 May 2016  

Derek Fincham

South Texas College of Law Houston

Date Written: April 26, 2016

Abstract

The determination of a work of art as authentic (or not) makes a tremendous difference in the value of a work of art. Owing to the millions of dollars which can be added, or subtracted, to a work of art when an authentication opinion is made, lawsuits will often be the last resort of those unhappy with an authentication. Determining with absolute certainty, the authenticity of a work of art takes the combined expertise of art historians, scientists, and art connoisseurs. Previous examinations of the problem of art fraud and counterfeit art have focused on criminal offenses, pointed to market failures, and even argued that we should not care too much about fake art at all if nobody notices. These examinations all fail to give sufficient weight to the sheer difficulty of the task. It takes tremendous expertise required to correctly determine the artist who created a work of art, and the period in which the object was fashioned. The pages which follow argue art authentication and the experts who make them have gotten a bad reputation. Instead, their analysis should be properly valued as expert testimony in court in art authentication disputes, and should be protected from vexatious litigation.

Keywords: Art, Art Law, Art Authentication, Art Forgery, Art Fraud, Counterfeit Art

Suggested Citation

Fincham, Derek, Authenticating Art by Valuing Art Experts (April 26, 2016). Mississippi Law Journal, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2770705

Derek Fincham (Contact Author)

South Texas College of Law Houston ( email )

1303 San Jacinto Street
Houston, TX 77002
United States
9546678328 (Phone)

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