|Board member of Philadelphia Museum of Art connects medical research & art authentication|
A woman views an 18th century oil on canvas titled Saint Michael the Archangel from Cuzco, Peru during a press preview of the Journeys to New Worlds: Spanish and Portuguese Colonial Art from the Roberta and Richard Hubert Collection exhibition in the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Friday, Feb. 15, 2013, in Philadelphia. The exhibition is scheduled to run from Feb. 16th to May 19th in the Perelman building.
By: Dr. Luther Brady
PHILADELPHIA, PA.- As an avid collector of contemporary art, I very much depend on the veracity and truthfulness of the artwork I purchase. It is important to have trust in the art dealer, and that the dealer is transparent about the provenance. And, as a medical professional as well, much of the same resonates in the relationship between a patient and a physician.
There are strong parallels between the models and procedures followed in diagnostic medical research and art authentication. In discerning the authenticity of an art work a painting, for example forensic tests and studies play a part in the process, but only go so far and are not, by any means, exhaustive and absolute.
Medical procedures are used to arrive at a diagnostic opinion; however, the process is a cognitive one, in which tests, studies, physical examinations and findings are joined to form an accurate impression.
A single aberrant test result in a patient demands and dictates confirmation by repeat studies and tests within the same laboratory or within several laboratories to assure proper compatibility with the patients condition especially when the result is not expected or misrepresents the true state of a patients health and the doctors assessment in examination.
Such standard practice in medicine should be mirrored in the authentication process of compositions, as the area of forensic science develops as a new tool in determining the credulity in works of art.
It is well known that artists experiment with existing, readily available and new materials, that are prototypes and not yet on the market. They test and invent in the studio from a multitude of sources outside stock art supply markets, which have been documented about in detail. There are numerous historical texts and manuscripts that provide references to the secrets of the old masters, for example.
The etiology of an artists practice is and has been the subject of endless speculation by art historians, conservators and museum professionals. And this field of study is, to some degree, similar to that of the medical clinician, whose work, if it is to be successful, must be conceived as a dynamic process. The capacity to devise an accurate opinion is the result of knowledge and experience accrued over years of practice.
As materials change and advance from those that were available when a work of art was originally created, one painting can have a considerable lineage of contrasting media of varied chronology.
In the developments and conclusions concerning a painting, subject of a lawsuit, from the Elegy to the Spanish Republic series of artist Robert Motherwell, it was revealed that the painting in question stemmed from a private collection that was branded faux because of one forensic study alone regardless of the divergent and shifting opinions on its authenticity by some experts in the field.
Given that Motherwell was an artist who routinely worked on and reworked his paintings, a plural study with a peer review should have been standard procedure.
This rings true in the investigation case on Jackson Pollocks 1943 pre-drip painting called Mural, which is being questioned for its material composition and techniques as in the methods of practice for artists in their studios. Both scientists and conservators will collaborate in the examination of the 8-by-20 foot canvas by developing a treatment approach. This kind of peer review is essential to the reliability in studies of this kind.
With that, I am curious why a private firm operated by a single individual, provided the only forensic analysis of the Motherwell painting in question. I wondered why the Dedalus Foundation, custodian of Motherwells legacy, failed to request that someone qualified from the Getty Institute or other reputable and respected institutions study the work, at least, for a second scientific evaluation.
The dictate and demand for adequate research and repeat study are crucial in art authentication. In the terms of diagnostic research, this demonstrates serious deficiencies of procedure ones that are out of keeping a comprehensive combination of connoisseurship and science.
February 19, 2013
Sculpture from the Düsseldorf Art Academy on view at Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen
Significant exhibition exploring early decades of Cubism opens at Irish Museum of Modern Art
Christie's London announces the sale of Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Guest's Collection
Seattle Art Museum presents European masterworks from London and Seattle collections
Estate of the film producer Hercules Bellville up for auction at Holloway's of Banbury
Mini cars attract mega interest at RM's record-setting Bruce Weiner Microcar Museum Sale
Board member of Philadelphia Museum of Art connects medical research & art authentication
Art, defecation and death at Australian gambler David Walsh's MONA: Museum of Old and New Art
Oleg Vassiliev, leading Nonconformist and Contemporary Russian painter, dies at 81
Twentieth century chic: New display marks 100 years of fashion and social change
Racine Art Museum opens "Shades of Gray: Black and White Graphics from the Collection"
Shapero Rare Books to present a manuscript from the library of the Tsar at TEFAF
Bidders take their pick from Pennsylvania Treasury's 'unclaimed' vault in Morphy's million-dollar auction
Audiences in Moscow see the future of photography through the eyes of Russian and German artists
MCA unveils first work purchased through the new MCA Foundation
"Ashe to Amen: African Americans and Biblical Imagery" at the Museum of Biblical Art in New York City
Carpenter Center presents an exhibition and critical engagement with its iconic modernist building
SP-Arte/2013 announces participating galleries
Exhibition examines six new museum sites that integrate architecture, art, and landscape
Designs for rebuilding the Notre Dame de L'Assomption Cathedral, Port-au-Prince on view in Miami
Most Popular Last Seven Days
1.- Exhibition presents French Impressionist's most important and provocative paintings
2.- Sotheby's auction achieves the second-highest total for any sale ever held in London
3.- High Museum of Art premieres major United States exhibition of Alex Katz landscapes
4.- China's Great Wall is disappearing due to adverse natural conditions and reckless human activities
5.- Van Gogh to Pollock: Exhibition at Milwaukee Art Museum presents art world rebels
6.- Confederate flag furor spreads to stained glass windows at Washington National Cathedral
7.- Christie's London Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale achieves $112,908,380
8.- First comprehensive show on the history, politics and culture of homosexuality_ies opens in Berlin
9.- Sotheby's to re-launch Irish Art sales in London; Sale includes important nude by William Orpen
10.- Centre Pompidou devotes a major exhibition to Palestinian artist Mona Hatoum's work
Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .
|Royalville Communications, Inc|