Fakes and forgeries
Time: 10:30 - 12:30
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Course Code: VB463
Duration: 5 sessions (over 5 weeks)
What is the course about?
From paintings by Vermeer and Leonardo to ancient Mexican and Roman artefacts, this course explores a variety of fakes and copies to question the motives for producing such objects. We examine how this history of fakes impacts our understanding of art by challenging our perceptions of what is real. We will look at the role of ‘the expert’ in identifying fakes as well as the role of the conservator plays in revealing the ‘truth’ of an artwork. The course combines discussions around authenticity with practical exercises to challenge our perceptions as to what is perceived to be real, fictional or fake and why this matters today. We will also look at the use of pranks and hoaxes in an artistic context, and the success of such attempts to undermine the art gallery or museum.
This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
• A history of fakes, forgeries and copies including oil paintings, drawings, sculptures and cultural artefacts
• An introduction to connoisseurship and its impact on how we value art works and museum objects.
• The science of conservation and restoration and how it helps us to find the ‘truth’ within the object.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
• Explain the concept of connoisseurship and its impact on how we understand the ‘real’ and the ‘fake’ in art history
• Describe the challenges posed by restoration and conservation, from a museum perspective
• Identify at least three artworks/artefacts and/or key individuals from different times who have challenged our notions of authenticity.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This course is suitable for all levels.
You should be able to follow simple written and verbal instructions, demonstrations, hand-outs and health and safety information, and will be invited to take part in group discussion.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
You will be taught online with slide presentations and group discussions. Handouts will be provided by your tutor to support your learning on the course; these handouts will be available online/digitally for download, not printed out for you.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
You might wish to purchase a notebook for taking notes. You might wish to buy some of the books on any reading list provided.
Sarah Jaffray received her BA and MA in Art History with an emphasis in French Modernism and a minor in the Italian Renaissance. She holds a second MA in Cultural Studies from Goldsmiths, University of London. Sarah was a lecturer for several colleges and universities in the Los Angeles area before relocating to London to be with her family. For the past three years she has worked as an educator in the Department of Prints and Drawings at the British Museum and at Wellcome Collection. Her interests include Modernism, drawing, artistic process, collaboration, cultural theory, and the intersection of art and technology. She is currently researching the relationship of language and drawing.
Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.