Category Archives: forgery

Lawyers claim the Knoedler art gallery made big profits on fakes

The lastest story in the saga of the 165-year-old Knoedler gallery, which closed last year after accusations that the gallery was trafficking in multi-million dollar forgeries.

Lawsuits Claim Knoedler Made Huge Profits on Fakes


Published: October 21, 2012

For more than a dozen years the Upper East Side gallery Knoedler & Company was “substantially dependent” on profits it made from selling a mysterious collection of artwork that is at the center of a federal forgery investigation, former clients of this former gallery have charged in court papers.

Glafira Rosales, the little-known dealer at the center at the center of the FBI investigation, has said the bulk of the newly discovered masterworks came from an old family friend, an anonymous collector whom she has steadfastly refused to name. Files at Knoedler about him were labeled “Secret Santa.”

According to Ms. Freedman’s lawyers Ms. Rosales at one point told Ms. Freedman to stop pressing for more information about the unnamed collector, saying, “Don’t kill the goose that’s laying the golden egg.”

Read the whole story here.



After selling hundreds of forgeries, a conman sells “genuine fakes”


I write about an incredibly talented forger  in today’s Times:

Published: July 18, 2012

MADEIRA BEACH, Fla. — For nearly three decades Ken Perenyi made a small fortune forging works by popular 18th- and 19th-century artists like Martin Johnson Heade, Gilbert Stuart and Charles Bird King.

Then in 1998, Mr. Perenyi says, two F.B.I. agents showed up on his doorstep, curious about a couple of paintings sold at Christie’s and Sotheby’s, ostensibly by the maritime artist James E. Buttersworth but actually his own meticulous creations.

Over the next few years, he says, the F.B.I. continued to keep a close watch on him at his bayside bungalow here, tracking his work and where it sold, and talking to his friends and associates. Though the authorities never charged him, the scrutiny pushed Mr. Perenyi to develop what he calls “a new business model”: openly selling his faked oils as the reproductions of the finest masters.

Now they are bought by Palm Beach decorators, antiques dealers, professionals, business executives and others who want the look of cultured gentility without the price tag.

Perenyi tells his own story in a new memoir titled “Caveat Emptor” due out August 6th.