Ground-Breaking National Exhibition on Art Forgery Opening at the Canton Museum of Art

INTENT TO DECEIVE Explores Some of the Most Infamous Art Deceptions of the Past Century Through Today � and the Forgers Who Created Them



Contact: Max Barton — Associate Director & Director, Marketing & Communications
(330) 453.7666, ext. 102 •

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IMAGE CAPTION: (clockwise from bottom left) Master forger Elmyr de Hory, shown with his 1974 “Odalisque” in the style of Henri Matisse; “Girl with a Pearl Earring” was created in the style of Dutch Master Johannes Vermeer by forger John Myatt in 2012.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 28, 2014, Canton, Ohio — The Canton Museum of Art (CMA) will host the Midwest premiere of a provocative new exhibit about art fraud and deception. “Intent to Deceive: Fakes and Forgeries in the Art World” will open to the public on August 28 at the Museum, and the exhibit will be on view through October 26, 2014. A special ticketed opening night preview celebration will be hosted on August 27, 6-9pm at CMA, with tickets available by calling 330.453.7666.

Organized by International Arts & Artists of Washington, D.C. and curated by Colette Loll, Founder and Director of Art Fraud Insights, “Intent to Deceive” features works by some of the world's most notorious art forgers, illuminates their dubious legacies, and examines how their skills beguiled the art world for much of the 20th century. Art fraud and forgery have characterized the dark side of the art landscape for centuries, and counterfeiting of fine art has proven to be a lucrative pursuit throughout history.

This new exhibition has garnered national attention through features in “The New York Times,” “The Boston Globe” and on the CBS Evening News following its first two stops in Massachusetts and Florida.

“Canton is thrilled to host the Midwest premiere of this exciting touring exhibition, featuring some of the greatest art frauds ever perpetrated,” said Max Barton, associate director of the Canton Museum of Art. “Forgery is an intriguing topic for art audiences today, and we expect large crowds from around the region to see original works by Picasso, Matisse and others alongside clever fakes.”

Commenting on some of the related programming for the exhibit, Barton said, “We have a terrific opening night celebration planned on August 27, which will include the auction of a forgery from a Winslow Homer piece in our Permanent Collection — commissioned by CMA from Mark Landis, who is one of the forgers featured in the exhibition! In addition a film festival is being hosted with the Canton Palace Theatre, featuring the acclaimed 2006 documentary ‘The Rape of Europa’ and the Ohio premiere of ‘Art and Craft,’ a film tracking the career of forger Mark Landis and a feature at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival.” 

Intent to Deceive — The Exhibit

Featured in the exhibit are five of the art world's most infamous con artists, including Elmyr de Hory, the subject of Orson Welles’ film “F for Fake,” and Mark Landis, a serial counterfeiter recently profiled in “The New Yorker” (August 2013) for making gifts of his “art” to museums around the country. Han van Meegeren, who stood trial in Amsterdam in 1947 for his Vermeer forgeries in Europe, is considered to be one of the most ingenious art forgers of the 20th century. Also included are Eric Hebborn and John Myatt, both known for promoting their “how-to” of art forgery, which may have cost Hebborn his life in 1996.

The exhibit is divided into sections that examine each forger's career. On display will be works created by the forger, personal effects and ephemera, photographs, film clips, and examples of the material and explanations of the techniques used to create these convincing artworks. More than 12 original works by artists such as Charles Courtney Curran, Honoré Daumier, Raoul Dufy, Philip de Lászlό, Henri Matisse, Joan Mirό, Amedeo Modigliani, Pablo Picasso, Paul Signac and Maurice de Vlaminck are juxtaposed with the nearly 50 fakes from the world's most accomplished art forgers to test perceptions of authenticity. The exhibit will also explore how art experts used modern technology to unveil the forgeries.  

All of the forgers were unable to make a career based on their own artistic style. So they found fakery, the exact duplication of an original work of art, and forgery, the creation and selling of a work of art which is falsely credited to another, to be their most accessible avenue to recognition and commercial success. These ingenious forgers shook the art field with their exploits — garnering each of them worldwide notoriety, and an untimely death in the case of van Meegeren, de Hory and Hebborn.

“Intent to Deceive” curator Colette Loll said, “Fakes and forgeries were once the dirty little secret of the art world, and no gallery, museum or auction house has ever been entirely free from the embarrassment of a costly error of misattribution or faulty provenance. A recent flurry of books, conferences and exhibitions dedicated to fakes, forgeries, mistakes, and misattributions is evidence that the age-old art of forgery has never intrigued the public more than it does today.”

Delving into the psyche and behavior of art forgers in the 20th century through the present day, “Intent to Deceive: Fakes and Forgeries in the Art World” offers insight into some of the world’s most notorious con artists and the museums subject to their deceit. At times, art forgers have garnered public sympathy by throwing onto themselves the stereotype of a talented but undiscovered artist. This dynamic exhibition, however, de-romanticizes art fraud to show it is not a victimless crime. The forgeries, each a crime of opportunity, come from a cunning and deliberate intent to deceive.

“... perhaps the most authoritative exhibition yet detailing the multimillion-dollar copycat industry.”

                                                                – Boston Globe, January 21, 2014

Tickets for this special exhibition are: $15 Adults; $10, Seniors and Students (with valid I.D.); Museum Members are Free; and Children 12 and under, Free. Tickets are available at the Museum Ticket Office during Museum hours, or by calling 330.453.7666, 10am – 5pm weekdays, to reserve tickets. Advance tickets may be picked up at the Museum. For group visits and tours, please call Lynn Daverio at 330.453.7666 at least two weeks prior to your visit for reservations and/or to request a docent-led tour.  


Opening Night Preview Celebration
Wednesday, August 27 • 6:00 – 9:00pm

Canton Museum of Art
Museum Members: $45 • Non-Members: $65 (includes 1-year Individual Museum Membership)
LIMITED TICKETS AVAILABLE! Reserve Your Tickets Now at 330.453.7666

An intrigue- and fun-filled evening with an exclusive preview of “Intent to Deceive.” Heavy hors d’oeuvres, two complimentary drinks and cash bar, and live music throughout the evening as guests enjoy …

• “Meet the Curator” Gallery Talk and Private Tour — Colette Loll, curator of the exhibition
and founder of Art Fraud Insights, will take guests on a special viewing in the galleries.

•  Own an Original Fake! The evening will include an auction of an original forgery of Winslow Homer’s “Girl Picking Clover” from the Museum’s Permanent Collection as created by Mark Landis, one of the master forgers profiled in the exhibition! See original and fake, side-by-side, then bid to own your “Homer” — a deceptively delicious work of art exclusive to the CMA!

•  Gasser Fine Jewelers Charges You to Spot the Real Deal! See two “identical” jewelry pieces created by Gasser and modeled throughout the evening. Which is original, and which is a fine duplicate? Take your best guess! One raffle ticket provided; additional available for purchase.      

Win Two VIP Tickets to the North American Pre-Broadway Premiere of The Illusionists – Witness the Impossible.  Come dressed as your favorite character or scene from a work of art — the most original as judged by the “Intent to Deceive” curator wins a pair of VIP tickets to “The Illusionists” at The University of Akron’s E.J. Thomas Hall on either Nov. 19 or 20, a concessions voucher and parking pass — a package valued at over $150.00! Second and third place prices will be awarded.

• Frame Yourself as a Work of Art! In costume or not, choose a CMA frame and get a fine art “selfie” with photography by Shawn Wood.

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The Three F's of Art Crime: Frauds, Forgeries and Fakes — An Evening with Robert Wittman
NYTimes Best-Selling Author & Founder of the FBI's National Art Crime Team

Thursday, September 4, 6 – 8:30pm
Canton Palace Theatre

605 Market Avenue North
Canton, Ohio 44702

6 – 6:30p Wine & Light Fare Reception

6:30 – 8:00p Presentation

8 – 8:30pm Informal Book Signing

Journey into the highest levels of deception in the art world! Enter the realm of frauds, forgeries and fakes with renowned art investigator and founder of the FBI's National Art Crime Team, Robert Wittman. He served for 20 years as the FBI's investigative expert in the art field, and he is responsible for recovering more than $300 million in stolen art and cultural property around the world. Since retiring from the FBI in 2008, he authored the New York Times Best Seller “Priceless — How I Went Undercover to Rescue The World's Stolen Treasures.”

Tickets: $25 General / $20 CMA Members
To Register, Call 330.453.7666 or online at
SPECIAL! Non-Members Show Your Ticket at the Museum for FREE Admission to the exhibit!

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First Friday @ Canton Museum of Art — The Great Masters as Teachers
Friday, September 5, 5:30 – 8pm

Canton Museum of Art

Come enjoy the First Friday “First Stop” at the Canton Museum of Art, featuring a grand display of artwork from Canton artist and teacher Frank Dale and more than 20 of his students! “The Great Masters as Teachers” showcases 47 works based on paintings of 21 Masters, whose works span 500 years of oil painting. Learn the process of recreating a masterpiece as you explore past and present! Enjoy a delicious selection of foods, wine, music and FREE admission to the “Intent to Deceive” exhibit. 

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The Art of Deception
Wednesday, October 1, 6 – 7:30pm

Canton Museum of Art / Cultural Center for the Arts — Cable Hall

Art fraud expert Colette Loll, curator of “Intent to Deceive,” discusses the five forgers profiled in the exhibition, detailing their infamous legacies and how their charm and talent deceived and shook the art world. Mark Forgy, heir to forger Elmyr de Hory’s estate and author of “The Forger’s Apprentice: Life with the World’s Most Notorious Artist,” will also take the stage and share his intimate and personal view of the man who turned the art world upside down. An informal book signing will follow. SEATING IS LIMITED!

Tickets: $25 General / $20 CMA Members
To Register, Call 330.453.7666 or online at
SPECIAL! Non-Members Show Your Ticket at the Museum for FREE Admission to the exhibit!

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Art Crime Film Festival
Thursday, September 25 and Thursday, October 9, 7:30pm

Canton Palace Theatre
605 Market Avenue North
Canton, Ohio 44702
Tickets: $5.00 — Available at the Door

THE RAPE OF EUROPA (2006) — Thursday, September 25, 7:30pm

“The Rape of Europa” tells the epic story of the systematic theft, deliberate destruction and miraculous survival of Europe’s art treasures during the Third Reich and World War II. In a journey through seven countries, the film takes viewers into the violent whirlwind of fanaticism, greed and warfare that threatened to wipe out the artistic heritage of Europe. For twelve long years, the Nazis looted and destroyed art on a scale unprecedented in history. But heroic young art historians and curators from America and across Europe fought back with an extraordinary campaign to rescue and return the millions of lost, hidden and stolen treasures. Now, more than sixty years later, the legacy of this tragic history continues to play out as families of looted collectors recover major works of art, conservators repair battle damage, and nations fight over the fate of ill-gotten spoils of war. Joan Allen narrates this breathtaking chronicle about the battle over the very survival of centuries of western culture.

ART AND CRAFT (2014) — Thursday, October 9, 7:30pm

Mark Landis is perhaps the most prolific art forger the U.S. has ever seen. He’s duped curators throughout the nation with precise imitations from Matisse to Picasso, curiously never asking for money, but instead donating his counterfeits free of charge. After 30 years of conning the art industry, Landis is first discovered by Matthew Leininger, a registrar from Cincinnati, who has since dedicated years to tracking the man who hoodwinked him, in search of answers. But Landis’ motivations are far more layered than simple deception. Diagnosed with schizophrenia, there’s a question if he even knows that he is being deceptive at all. Through a richly complex lens, “Art and Craft” delicately balances a portrait of an outsider living with mental illness and the universal desire to be a part of a community. “Perversely satisfying…The art world deserves him.” — Stephen Holden, The New York Times


About the Canton Museum of Art

The Canton Museum of Art (CMA) is one of Ohio's premier locations for an exceptional visual arts experience. CMA is recognized for powerful national touring exhibits; dynamic CMA-original exhibits; an unrivaled Permanent Collection of American watercolors and contemporary ceramics; and innovative education outreach programs, in-Museum classes and workshops. For more information, including hours, exhibits and special events, call 330.453.7666, visit, Facebook® at “Canton Museum of Art” or @CantonMuseum on Twitter®.


Canton Museum of Art Hours:

Hours – Monday: Closed; Tues - Thurs: 10am - 8pm; Fri - Sat: 10am - 5pm; Sun: 1 - 5pm

Location: The Canton Museum of Art is located in the Cultural Center for the Arts, 1001 Market Avenue North, Canton, Ohio 44702. Free onsite parking is available around the Museum. Call 330.453.7666 for information and directions or visit our website at

Media Image: Attached is an exhibition press image with caption. Additional hi-res images for publication are available by contacting Max Barton, 330.453.7666, ext. 102, or email with a request.

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