Posts Tagged ‘Minneapolis Institute of Art’

There can be unexpected ramifications to keeping cats, as art forgers described in Science magazine discovered to their regret.

In an article on how experts check the authenticity of a putative Velázquez or a painting found along with mummies, Lizzie Wade writes, Investigations into the artist responsible for more modern works often have a specific goal: To figure out if the work in question is a forgery.

“Bonnie Magness-Gardine manages the Art Theft Program at the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Washington, D.C. For many years, she and other investigators had seen innumerable forgeries of the work of Clementine Hunter, a self-taught and incredibly prolific African-American painter from Louisiana.

“Many people tried to copy her distinctive folk-art style, but only two regularly succeeded: William Toye and his wife Beryl Ann Toye, a couple from New Orleans. They were so good at imitating Hunter’s style that ‘they got away with this for years,’ Magness-Gardine says.

“In 2009, the Federal Bureau of Investigation finally gathered enough evidence to confiscate the Toyes’ supposed Hunter collection, and during the raid they noticed that ‘they lived in a very modest house with approximately 30 cats,’ Magness-Gardine says.

“When forensic investigators analyzed the seized works, they found cat hair embedded in the paint — a characteristic not shared by Hunter’s authentic work. ‘That’s essentially what brought them down,’ Magness-Gardine says. William Toye pled guilty to art fraud in 2011.”

More here.

Art: Clementine Hunter/ Bridgeman Images
Picking Cotton, 1950s (oil on board), Minneapolis Institute of Art, The Ethel Morrison Van Derlip Fund. Hunter is a favorite of would-be forgers.

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An art museum in Minnesota has used the occasion of its 100th birthday to grow a field-size replica of a Van Gogh work.

Emile Klein at Studio 360 has the story.

“The Minneapolis Institute of Art [MIA] has been throwing a year-long party for its 100th birthday, and the guest list has been a bit of a cultural catch-all. …

“How about a 1.2 acre rendition of a Vincent van Gogh painting, composed with items you could buy at the Home Depot?

“Van Gogh’s original piece, Olive Trees with Yellow Sky and Sun, measures about two feet by three feet and hangs on a wall in the MIA. The new rendition, by land artist Stan Herd, covers 1.2 acres, or 7,230 Olive Trees. It’s so big that you’d have to fly a plane over to appreciate it …

“As a land artist, Herd knows that most of his work is just too big to fit inside a traditional museum, and that’s OK by him. ‘I’m a Kansan, and I make art on a frickin’ tractor. Do I really want the avant garde en Paris to see it?’

“Even if a major museum could secure zoning rights, representational art like the kind Herd makes is out of fashion in the art world. Surprisingly, the person who might appreciate Herd’s work the most is van Gogh himself. …

“Herd’s slice of Saint-Rémy won’t last forever. It will fade over time. Surprisingly, so will van Gogh’s. That’s because he painted with pigments now known to be ‘fugitive,’ like a very slowly disappearing ink. The chrome yellows and scarlets scattered throughout the painting’s sky will, in time, wilt like the marigolds in Herd’s field. Everything in nature is ephemeral — van Gogh would probably like that.”

More at Studio 360, here.

Photo: Minneapolis Institute of Art
A living representation of a Van Gogh painting. (Those are actual cars in the lower right corner.)

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