Art and History

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Art: Authenticity, Restoration, Forgery

David A. Scott

This book presents a detailed account of authenticity in the visual arts from the Paleolithic to the postmodern. The restoration of works of art can alter the perception of authenticity and may result in the creation of fakes and forgeries. These interactions set the stage for the subject of this book, which initially examines the conservation perspective, then continues with a detailed discussion of notions of authenticity and philosophical background. There is a disputed territory between those who view the present-day cult of authenticity as fundamentally flawed and those who have analyzed its impact upon different cultural milieus, operating across performative, contested, and fragmented ground. The book discusses several case studies where the ideas of conceptual authenticity, aesthetic authenticity, and material authenticity can be incorporated into an informative discourse about art from the ancient to the contemporary, illuminating concerns relating to restoration and art forgery.


David A. Scott has published over 130 papers and eight books. He previously lectured at University College in London and was the head of the Museum Research Laboratory at the Getty Villa Museum for over seventeen years. He is a professor in the Department of Art History at UCLA, and he is the founding director of the UCLA/Getty Program in Archaeological and Ethnographic Conservation.

Published By The Cotsen Institute of Archaeology Press

7.25 x 10.25 in. 516 pages 105 halftones