The New York Times has the story of an unlikely set of Leon Golub forgeries that passed through Sotheby’s and Christie’s before going to leading collector Andrew Hall. The cache of two dozen works by a not-especially valuable painter is likely to cause far more damage to everyone’s reputation than the $676,250 that Hall spent on the fakes.
The NYTimes’s Dealbook has the details:
Mr. Hall started collecting Golub’s work in 2003 and within six years he had amassed 40 pieces, wagering that Golub’s work was undervalued and due to appreciate. In 2011, he discovered that the professor, Lorettann Gascard of Franklin Pierce University in New Hampshire, shared his passion for Golub’s art. She and her son, Nikolas, seemed to have a collection of Golubs to rival his own, he learned, and they wanted to sell.
Mr. Hall had, it turned out, already bought eight of their Golubs through auction houses in New York beginning in 2009. And after making direct contact with the Gascards in 2011 he bought another 16 from them, cutting out the middleman.
But now he says all 24 of the Golubs he bought from the Gascards are fake. […]
But between 2009 and 2011 the Gascards consigned at least eight works they attributed to Golub to auction in New York, including six at Christie’s and one at Sotheby’s, where Mr. Hall purchased them, he said in the suit. The auction houses relied on the story the Gascards told them about the paintings’ provenance, according to the filing.
Representatives of the auction houses said that they were investigating the questions that have been raised about the works’ authenticity. Sotheby’s said it had sold two other paintings purported to be by Golub from the same consignor and was contacting the buyers.
Click through to read the whole story if you’re looking for plenty of schadenfreude.
Wall Street Dealmaker Says Professor Took Him for a Ride (The New York Times)