Scandals and Vandals: Forgery, Theft, and Destruction in the History of Art
This course exposes students to the dynamic world of theft, forgery, destruction, and the restoration of works of art. Through readings and museum visits, students engage questions of authenticity, ownership, commercialism, and the cultural role of works of art in the world today and throughout history. Students learn how works of art are forged; they also learn the history and theories of museum collection building. In addition, they explore concepts of artistic expression and authenticity. When is a work of art real? What does it mean for art to be forged? Does restoration of art works affect authenticity? Students also explore concepts of and the complex history of art ownership.