10 books like Art Forgery

By Thierry Lenain,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Art Forgery. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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The Duke of Wellington, Kidnapped!

By Alan Hirsch,

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

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.

The Duke of Wellington, Kidnapped!

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…


Context Matters

By David W. J. Gill,

Book cover of Context Matters: Collating the Past

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.

Context Matters

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…


Transnational Art Crime

By Edgar Tijhuis,

Book cover of Transnational Art Crime

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.

Transnational Art Crime

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…


The Secret Collector

By Leon Pogelšek, Slavko Pregl,

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

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.

The Secret Collector

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.…


The Art Forger

By B.A. Shapiro,

Book cover of The Art Forger

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.

The Art Forger

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…


The Art Whisperer

By Charlotte Elkins, Aaron Elkins,

Book cover of The Art Whisperer

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. 

The Art Whisperer

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,…


Long Time Coming

By Robert Goddard,

Book cover of Long Time Coming

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…

Long Time Coming

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…


The Last Painting of Sara De Vos

By Dominic Smith,

Book cover of The Last Painting of Sara De Vos

There are so many elements in The Last Painting of Sara DeVos that echo themes in my own work! A female artist who dares to defy convention and gender boundaries. An art history graduate student, a passionless marriage, and the question of who “owns” a work of art. An act of questionable judgment that leads to the unraveling of a carefully-constructed life. How could I not feel a profound kinship with this well-researched, beautifully written, intellectually absorbing novel about the power of art to transform a woman’s life? 

The Last Painting of Sara De Vos

By Dominic Smith,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Last Painting of Sara De Vos as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'. . . worthy of comparison to Tracy Chevalier's Girl with a Pearl Earring and Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch . . . A masterly, multilayered story that will dazzle readers.' Library Journal (starred review)

In 1631, Sara de Vos is admitted to the Guild of St. Luke in Holland as a master painter, the first woman to be so honoured. Three hundred years later, only one work attributed to de Vos is known to remain - a haunting winter scene, At the Edge of a Wood, which hangs over the Manhattan bed of a wealthy descendant of the original owner.…


The Emperor's Soul

By Brandon Sanderson,

Book cover of The Emperor's Soul

The Emperor’s Soul is technically a novella, but a Sanderson-length novella rivals many writer’s novels in length. Sanderson is a master of world-building, and many of his books have fascinated me, but The Emperor’s Soul has so much mystery and beauty that it tops his other books when it comes to sheer wonder. It features a forger who is a true artist, and like many artists, her process is at the edge of her control and her creations truly exist apart from herself when they are done. If you love the thrill of creating something outside yourself, the high of a surprise that has been perfectly foreshadowed, The Emperor’s Soul is for you.

The Emperor's Soul

By Brandon Sanderson,

Why should I read it?

1 author 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…


The Lie Became Great

By Oscar White Muscarella,

Book cover of The Lie Became Great: The Forgery of Ancient Near Eastern Cultures

This is a pioneering, extraordinarily well-documented exposé of how famous museums have filled their shelves with looted artifacts and more than a few fakes – which, the author explains, tend to flock together. The author was a whistle-blowing curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. He knows his stuff. So why was I reluctant to recommend this title?  Because it’s so hard to find and, with hundreds of photographs, costs upwards of $100. If you can find a used copy, grab it, and if your local library has it, kiss a librarian and make a donation.

The Lie Became Great

By Oscar White Muscarella,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Lie Became Great explores the closed society of international plunderers and forgers which thrives as a subculture of the Art World.
These multi-cultural denizens include antiquity dealers, collectors, museum curators, forgers working in conjunction with auction houses, museums and galleries. Forgeries are made to be sold, and a great number pass into the Art World - collections, exhibitions, catalogues, and popular and scholarly journals - complete with their fabricated stories of excavation, and how they were found. The Lie Became Great documents the success and activities of one small corner of this vast network - artifacts form the Ancient…


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