Friday, 8 November 2013

Creating Stories?

One of the points that was made at the ARCA symposium at the V&A yesterday related to the fabrication of collecting histories, sometimes by forging supporting documentation. Richard Ellis suggested that the due diligence process should leave no stone unturned.

As I sat in the audience I kept thinking about the reported collecting history for the Leutwitz Apollo acquired by the Cleveland Museum of Art. How much of it can be authenticated? How far has the museum explored discrepancies?

It is a good story as it is presented. Garden sculpture. Communist attack. Burial in the rubble of the house. Sale to a Dutch dealer.

Does the curatorial team at Cleveland believe it?

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