100 books like Art Forgery

By Thierry Lenain,

Here are 100 books that Art Forgery fans have personally recommended if you like Art Forgery. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Duke of Wellington, Kidnapped!: The Incredible True Story of the Art Heist That Shocked a Nation

Noah Charney Author Of The Devil in the Gallery: How Scandal, Shock, and Rivalry Shaped the Art World

From my list on art crime.

Who am I?

Back in 2006, a New York Times Magazine feature article about me announced that I had essentially founded the field of the study of art crime, while still a postgraduate student. I’m often mentioned as the world’s leading authority on the history of art crime and I’ve been a professor teaching the subject for more than a decade (I’m not actually that old). I also founded ARCA, the Association for Research into Crimes against Art, the world’s first think tank and research group on art crime. We launched the first academic journal on the subject, The Journal of Art Crime, as well as the first academic study program, the ARCA Postgraduate Program in Art Crime and Cultural Heritage Protection, which runs every summer in Italy. I’m also the author of more than a dozen books, many best-sellers, and one a Pulitzer finalist. I write on art crime for TED Ed videos, I host TV programs on the subject, and I recently curated a virtual exhibit of lost art called Missing Masterpieces.

Noah's book list on art crime

Noah Charney Why did Noah love this book?

If you saw the recent film, The Duke, then you’ll know the story of Kempton Bunton and the crazy art heist from London’s National Gallery, when Goya’s Portrait of the Duke of Wellington was stolen. This is one of the most interesting and quirkiest of all art heists and this book is the definitive telling of it.

By Alan Hirsch,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Duke of Wellington, Kidnapped! as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In 1961, a thief broke into the National Gallery in London and committed the most sensational art heist in British history. He stole the museum’s much prized painting, The Duke of Wellington by Francisco Goya. Despite unprecedented international attention and an unflagging investigation, the case was not solved for four years, and even then, only because the culprit came forward voluntarily.

Kempton Bunton, an elderly gentleman, claimed he executed the theft armed with only a toy gun, a disguise purchased for five shillings, and a getaway car inadvertently provided by a drunkard. Shortly after turning himself in, Bunton also invoked…


Book cover of Context Matters: Collating the Past

Noah Charney Author Of The Devil in the Gallery: How Scandal, Shock, and Rivalry Shaped the Art World

From my list on art crime.

Who am I?

Back in 2006, a New York Times Magazine feature article about me announced that I had essentially founded the field of the study of art crime, while still a postgraduate student. I’m often mentioned as the world’s leading authority on the history of art crime and I’ve been a professor teaching the subject for more than a decade (I’m not actually that old). I also founded ARCA, the Association for Research into Crimes against Art, the world’s first think tank and research group on art crime. We launched the first academic journal on the subject, The Journal of Art Crime, as well as the first academic study program, the ARCA Postgraduate Program in Art Crime and Cultural Heritage Protection, which runs every summer in Italy. I’m also the author of more than a dozen books, many best-sellers, and one a Pulitzer finalist. I write on art crime for TED Ed videos, I host TV programs on the subject, and I recently curated a virtual exhibit of lost art called Missing Masterpieces.

Noah's book list on art crime

Noah Charney Why did Noah love this book?

David Gill is the leading authority on antiquities looting and the legitimate institutions that trade in it. This collection of essays, most published first in The Journal of Art Crime, is as good an introduction as any to the dark side of the antiquities trade.

By David W. J. Gill,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Context Matters as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Context Matters is a volume of essays on the illicit trade in antiquities, the ownership of cultural heritage and issues in archaeology. It is based on the twenty essays contributed to the Journal of Art Crime over its first ten years of publication. The contributions are supplemented by articles and review articles that were published alongside them. The chapters were written as museums in Europe and North America were facing a series of claims on recently acquired objects in their collections in the light of the photographic dossiers that had been seized from dealers in Switzerland and Greece. They engage…


Book cover of Transnational Art Crime

Noah Charney Author Of The Devil in the Gallery: How Scandal, Shock, and Rivalry Shaped the Art World

From my list on art crime.

Who am I?

Back in 2006, a New York Times Magazine feature article about me announced that I had essentially founded the field of the study of art crime, while still a postgraduate student. I’m often mentioned as the world’s leading authority on the history of art crime and I’ve been a professor teaching the subject for more than a decade (I’m not actually that old). I also founded ARCA, the Association for Research into Crimes against Art, the world’s first think tank and research group on art crime. We launched the first academic journal on the subject, The Journal of Art Crime, as well as the first academic study program, the ARCA Postgraduate Program in Art Crime and Cultural Heritage Protection, which runs every summer in Italy. I’m also the author of more than a dozen books, many best-sellers, and one a Pulitzer finalist. I write on art crime for TED Ed videos, I host TV programs on the subject, and I recently curated a virtual exhibit of lost art called Missing Masterpieces.

Noah's book list on art crime

Noah Charney Why did Noah love this book?

When I first started out, there were very few books ever written about the study of art crime. Tijhuis was one of the few authorities, approaching it from a criminological perspective. This is a really strong academic survey of the phenomenon, perfect for those interested in the intersection of criminology and art.

By Edgar Tijhuis,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Transnational Art Crime as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

How does transnational crime interact with legal companies andgovernments? Are legal actors primarily victimized by transnationalcriminals or are the two connected by collaborative relationships? Andhow are these crimes often transformed into legitimate activities?This book seeks to answer these and related questions. Its main topicis the translational illicit art and antiquities trade, based on a thoroughempirical study of data gathered in France, Italy, the Netherlands andother places around the world. The reader will encounter a large numberof case studies, from auction houses selling looted antiquities to violentrobberies of museums and castles, and much more.Added to this is an analysis of the…


Book cover of The Secret Collector: The Lost Art Collection of Erich Šlomovič

Noah Charney Author Of The Devil in the Gallery: How Scandal, Shock, and Rivalry Shaped the Art World

From my list on art crime.

Who am I?

Back in 2006, a New York Times Magazine feature article about me announced that I had essentially founded the field of the study of art crime, while still a postgraduate student. I’m often mentioned as the world’s leading authority on the history of art crime and I’ve been a professor teaching the subject for more than a decade (I’m not actually that old). I also founded ARCA, the Association for Research into Crimes against Art, the world’s first think tank and research group on art crime. We launched the first academic journal on the subject, The Journal of Art Crime, as well as the first academic study program, the ARCA Postgraduate Program in Art Crime and Cultural Heritage Protection, which runs every summer in Italy. I’m also the author of more than a dozen books, many best-sellers, and one a Pulitzer finalist. I write on art crime for TED Ed videos, I host TV programs on the subject, and I recently curated a virtual exhibit of lost art called Missing Masterpieces.

Noah's book list on art crime

Noah Charney Why did Noah love this book?

This book reads like a novel but tells the true story (one of the authors was personally involved in the adventures) of one of the most famous lost art collections of all-time. Over 400 paintings were once owned by Erich Slomovic, a Serbian Jewish collection based in Paris, who was killed in a concentration camp during the Second World War. Most of his collection remains lost, its whereabouts unknown. This book is unusually written in that it really feels like a Dickensian novel but it’s based on the best available scholarship and research.

By Leon Pogelšek, Slavko Pregl,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Secret Collector as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

There are countless stories of buried, hidden, lost and then “exhumed” artworks, preserved thanks to having been hidden. The Croatian Jew Erich Šlomovič possessed an art collection of around 600 paintings, including works by Picasso, Chagall and Matisse, which he acquired while working in Paris in his early twenties as the protégé of the art dealer Ambroise Vollard. When Šlomovič fled Paris in anticipation of the Nazi invasion, he placed 190 paintings in a bank vault, while the rest were boxed up and smuggled across Nazi-occupied territories with the assistance of the Yugoslav Embassy, eventually to be brought to Belgrade.…


Book cover of The Art Forger

Elisabeth M. Lee Author Of Young PRB: A Novel of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood

From my list on artists by non-artists.

Who am I?

As a history major and artist I noticed a style of illustrations and paintings that popped up in history books, novels, and poetry collections. I found that the paintings and drawings were just scratching the surface. The lives and struggles of the artists known as Pre-Raphaelites were just as intriguing as the art. I have traveled to the many locations that the Pre-Raphaelites frequented to follow in their footsteps. I've even tried to copy their wet white painting style and was awed by the patience they must have had. I appreciate many art styles and enjoy being transported into the lives of the artists by authors as interested in art and history as I am. 

Elisabeth's book list on artists by non-artists

Elisabeth M. Lee Why did Elisabeth love this book?

Art forgery has always fascinated me. The idea that you can create a 'new' work by an old master and then, maybe, get away with it. Claire is a struggling artist whose one chance at fame had been stolen by a lover. Reduced to painting reproductions of famous paintings for clients to hang in their home she is approached by an art dealer to secretly forge a Degas painting. The money is good enough to silence her scruples and when the painting arrives she immediately recognizes that it is one of the paintings stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum. Already she is having doubts but after beginning her study of the painting she suspects that it, too, is a forgery. Forged art has never been so compelling.

By B.A. Shapiro,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Art Forger as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Almost twenty-five years after the infamous art heist at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum - still the largest unsolved art theft in history - one of the stolen Degas paintings is delivered to the Boston studio of a young artist. Claire Roth has entered into a Faustian bargain with a powerful gallery owner by agreeing to forge the Degas in exchange for a one-woman show in his renowned gallery. But as she begins her work, she starts to suspect that this long-missing masterpiece - the very one that had been hanging at the Gardner for one hundred years - may…


Book cover of Con/Artist: The Life and Crimes of the World's Greatest Art Forger

Tim Maleeny Author Of Hanging the Devil

From my list on planning an art heist.

Who am I?

I’ve always been fascinated by art, not just the paintings themselves but their historical significance, the personalities behind the canvas, and the seemingly arbitrary value placed on one artist’s work versus another. Writing my latest novel, Hanging the Devil, was a chance to delve into the illicit side of the art world, where forgers and smugglers consort with organized crime. I’ve been an award-winning mystery author for more than a decade—this is my sixth novel—and the great thing about writing crime fiction is the chance to get lost in the research and learn something new, so writing this novel was a great excuse to visit museums, talk to experts, and plan a heist!

Tim's book list on planning an art heist

Tim Maleeny Why did Tim love this book?

Tony Tetro is one of the most successful art forgers in history and a character straight out of a movie, with a devil-may-care attitude towards his fast life among the rich, famous, and fraudulent.

His talents have fooled expert appraisers and wealthy collectors for years, including Prince (now King) Charles, who acquired paintings by Tetro thinking they were authentic works of art by Picasso, Dali, Monet, and Chagall. There are likely hundreds of his forged paintings currently hanging in museums and galleries—or displayed in private collections—authenticated as originals.

Read about his secret stash room hidden behind a mirror, his reckless disregard for consequences, and his jaundiced view of the victims of his many cons, and you’ll swear you’re reading a novel versus nonfiction. 

The key to writing a novel is to make the characters as real as possible, with all the many contradictions we find in ourselves, in order to…

By Tony Tetro, Giampiero Ambrosi,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Con/Artist as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The world's most renowned art forger reveals the secrets behind his decades of painting like the Masters-exposing an art world that is far more corrupt than we ever knew while providing an art history lesson wrapped in sex, drugs, and Caravaggio.The art world is a much dirtier, nastier business than you might expect. Tony Tetro, one of the most renowned art forgers in history, will make you question every masterpiece you've ever seen in a museum, gallery, or private collection. Tetro's "Rembrandts," "Caravaggios," "Miros," and hundreds of other works now hang on walls around the globe. In 2019, it was…


Book cover of The Art Whisperer

Jennifer S. Alderson Author Of The Lover's Portrait

From my list on amateur sleuths searching for lost art.

Who am I?

Europe’s finest masterpieces drew me from Seattle, Washington to the Netherlands, where I earned a master’s degree in art history. During my study, the restitution of artwork that had been looted during WWII was a hot topic, and one that deeply fascinated me. Ultimately, my classes and work for several Dutch cultural institutions inspired me to write my series of art history mysteries.

Jennifer's book list on amateur sleuths searching for lost art

Jennifer S. Alderson Why did Jennifer love this book?

Alix London is the spunky lead character in Charlotte Elkins’ four-novel-long series of art mysteries. Alix is an art restorer with a sordid past, who is helping a rich Seattle businesswoman build up an art collection. The Art Whisperer is a fantastic story about forgeries, restoration, museum politics, and murder. Elkins is able to describe the art world in such a way that even those not interested in art history would enjoy this book and series. 

By Charlotte Elkins, Aaron Elkins,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Art Whisperer as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When art conservator Alix London spots a forgery, she knows trouble will follow. So she's understandably apprehensive when her connoisseur's eye spots something off about a multimillion-dollar Jackson Pollock painting at Palm Springs's Brethwaite Museum-her current employer.

Alix is already under fire, the object of a vicious online smear campaign. Now the Brethwaite's despicable senior curator, obsessed with the "maximization of monetized eyeballs," angrily refuses to decommission the celebrated Pollock piece. But it's only when a hooded intruder attacks Alix in her hotel room that the real trouble begins. And when FBI Special Agent Ted Ellesworth-with whom Alix had inadvertently,…


Book cover of Long Time Coming

Shelley Costa Author Of A Killer's Guide to Good Works

From my list on where great art leads to even greater crimes.

Who am I?

One of the advantages of growing up in New Jersey is the proximity to the museums in New York City. What great school field trips! And I really believe that’s where my love for art and history began. My cathedrals are art museums, great libraries, Civil War battlefields, wilderness shorelines – experiencing these places lifts me out of the dailiness of life, reminds me of struggle, greatness, and excellence. I guess it was just a matter of time before my sweet spot as a writer and reader is the point of intersection between great art and terrible crimes. Things worth writing about. 

Shelley's book list on where great art leads to even greater crimes

Shelley Costa Why did Shelley love this book?

When an uncle – presumed killed in the Blitz – turns up after serving nearly forty years in an Irish prison, he tells a story about having been one of the thieves of Picasso paintings stolen from a diamond merchant in Antwerp in 1939. At clever work in this tale are forgers, revolutionaries, and family members out to recover their treasure or their family honor. I have known for a long time that what I love most – more than mere murder mysteries – are what I call novels with murder. For me, the story has to be a beautifully realized bit of writing, and a murder is just one feature of it.

I have always loved Goddard’s style, which is both elegant and readable. And murder, more than a puzzle, becomes a natural part of the lives he depicts. Known for his plot twists, he sets me down in…

By Robert Goddard,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Long Time Coming as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Eldritch Swan is a dead man. Or at least that is what his nephew Stephen has always been told. Until one day Eldritch walks back into his life after 36 years in an Irish prison. He won't reveal any of the details of his incarceration, insisting only that he is innocent of any crime.

His return should be of interest to no-one. But the visit of a solicitor with a mysterious request will take Eldritch and his sceptical nephew fromsleepy seaside Paignton to London, where an exhibition of Picasso paintings from the prestigious Brownlow collection proves to be the starting…


Book cover of Contemporary Perspectives on the Detection, Investigation and Prosecution of Art Crime: Australasian, European and North American Perspectives

Gail Levin Author Of Edward Hopper: An Intimate Biography

From my list on the fate of the Edward Hopper Estate.

Who am I?

I’m a Distinguished Professor of art history at CUNY and biographer of artists. I grew up in Atlanta, attended college in Boston, and have worked in New York since my twenties. With a new Ph.D. in art history from Rutgers, I began as curator of the Hopper Collection at the Whitney Museum, assigned to produce a definitive catalogue of all Edward Hopper’s authentic art. His papers were missing except for his record books that recorded every time a work left for sale, loan, or gift. I traced each work as it left Hopper’s possession and discovered a massive number of undocumented artworks stolen from the estate, which the Whitney still wants to cover up.

Gail's book list on the fate of the Edward Hopper Estate

Gail Levin Why did Gail love this book?

I really like the discussion of the Metropolitan Museum’s celebrated acquisition of the ancient Greek Eurphronios Krater, which turned out to have been stolen from a tomb and had to be returned to Italy.

We read that even taking less valuable items “damages archaeological heritage, thereby compromising or weakening historical scholarship.”

I appreciate how this also applies to the unrelated minister who got into the Edward Hopper estate and who hid Hopper’s papers—5,000 documents—for 50 years, damaging their context, perhaps destroying some.

I wrote my biography and definitive catalogue of Hopper’s art without access to most of these papers. Now that I have seen most of them, I am relieved that my work retains its value. Fortunately, I found another source that provided many of Jo Hopper’s diaries.

By Duncan Chappell, Saskia Hufnagel,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Contemporary Perspectives on the Detection, Investigation and Prosecution of Art Crime as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the world of law enforcement art and antiquity crime has in the past usually assumed a place of low interest and priority. That situation has now slowly begun to change on both the local and international level as criminals, encouraged in part by the record sums now being paid for art treasures, are now seeking to exploit the art market more systematically by means of theft, fraud and looting. In this collection academics and practitioners from Australasia, Europe and North America combine to examine the challenges presented to the criminal justice system by these developments. Best practice methods of…


Book cover of The Emperor's Soul

Jami Fairleigh Author Of Oil and Dust

From my list on fantasy featuring art-based magic.

Who am I?

At heart, I believe every one of us is creative. It doesn’t matter if you express your creativity through words, notes, metal, wood, food, fabric, or paint. Personally, I love to sketch, paint, write, and sculpt. There is something magical about bringing your imagination to life and sharing it with the world! Our art allows us to share our emotions, dreams, memories, and culture with the world. As a fantasy author, I wanted to create a place where art can transform the physical world too. 

Jami's book list on fantasy featuring art-based magic

Jami Fairleigh Why did Jami love this book?

If you haven’t read anything by Brian Sanderson, this novella is a great place to start.

It is a fast read with a hopeful tone and satisfying ending. In this story, Shai is caught forging a priceless artifact. As punishment, she must forge a soul for the emperor who is in a coma. If her forgery doesn’t work, the empire will fall into chaos.

The magic of Shai’s forging is very cool; she creates stamps that can rewrite the nature of an object’s existence. The Emperor’s Soul spoke to me on a personal level. My stepmother is a Japanese artist, and I grew up watching her carefully seal her pieces with her custom, red stamp.

Highly recommended to anyone looking for that quick, feel-good punch that great fantasy can provide!

By Brandon Sanderson,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Emperor's Soul as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the bestselling author of the Mistborn Trilogy and co-author of the final three books of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series comes the tale of a heretic thief who may be an Empire's only hope for survival.

Shai is a Forger: a foreigner who can flawlessly re-create any item by rewriting its history using skillful magic . . . although she's currently condemned to death after trying to steal the emperor's sceptre, she has one last opportunity to save herself. The emperor has barely survived an assassination attempt, he needs a new soul and, despite viewing her skill as…


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