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Real Fake: The Rise and Fall of Art Scammers 
Speaker(s): Colleen Boyle, Jeff Oppenheim, Margaret Holben Ellis, William Charron
Recorded at: ART NEW YORK 2017

Real Fake: The Rise and Fall of Art Scammers 

Forgery is not a new problem but the art world continues to be rocked by forgery scandals. While the tools to detect counterfeit art are getting more sophisticated, so are the con-artists that create them. Documentary film director Jeff Oppenheim, Senior VP of Pall Mall Art Advisors, Colleen Boyle, and Director of the Thaw Conservation Center, Margaret Holben Ellis, and Art Litigator and Partner at Pryor Cashman LLP, William Charron, discuss how they applied provenance, connoisseurship and forensics to ferret out works by the most prolific forger of the last century as chronicled in the new documentary – Real Fake: The Art, Life & Crimes of Elmyr de Hory. 

Talk Details

This session took place live during the Symposium at Art New York 2017.

Watch the official trailer for Real Fake: The Art, Life & Crimes of Elmyr de Hory.

Meet the members of this panel!


Speaker Details

William Charron

Partner William Charron is a member of Pryor Cashman’s Litigation, Intellectual Property and Media & Entertainment Groups. He is also co-leader of the firm’s Art Law practice and represents clients in art title and authenticity cases.

Bill’s practice is focused on property rights cases in a number of contexts, including art, intellectual property matters arising under the Copyright and Lanham Acts, right of publicity and defamation laws, and real estate litigation. He has also represented clients in a number of complex cases involving civil rights, civil RICO, antitrust, securities fraud, and banking claims, as well as numerous contract, shareholder, and LLC membership disputes.

Bill has particular experience in handling appellate litigation, including arguing appeals to the New York Court of Appeals (highest court in New York), an en banc (full 16-judge panel) of the Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and the Second, Sixth, and Eleventh U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals, as well as the First and Second Departments of the Appellate Division in New York. He also taught appellate advocacy and legal writing as an adjunct professor at Columbia Law School from 2009-14.

Jeff Oppenheim

Jeff Oppenheim (WRITER/DIRECTOR/PRODUCER) melds a theater and film production background with marketing and PR. He has produced and/or directed 5 documentaries, one narrative feature, numerous short-form commercial projects, and live stream broadcasts most recently for Lincoln Center’s Out of Doors Festival and the Mostly Mozart Series. In addition to his film and TV credits he has written, produced and directed for theater and served as the artistic director and host for Other Voices, a non-profit literary organization for which he produced over 100 events and performances at venues throughout New York. Among the many concerts he has produced is a 70th birthday celebration concert at the Apollo Theater for George Clinton of Parliamentary Funk and the international tour to launch the “Os Kuduristas” series, a contemporary music and dance genre born out of Angola’s 30-year civil war.

Margaret Holben Ellis

Margaret Holben Ellis, Eugene Thaw Professor of Paper Conservation; Director, Thaw Conservation Center, The Morgan Library and Museum (part-time); Conservation Consultant, Villa La Pietra
In addition to being the Eugene Thaw Professor of Paper Conservation at the Institute of Fine Arts, Margret also serves as Director of the Thaw Conservation Center at the Morgan Library & Museum. She teaches courses on the hands-on conservation treatment of prints and drawings as well as technical connoisseurship seminars for future art historians at both the graduate and under-graduate level.  She has published and lectured on technical issues related to artists ranging from Raphael and Titian to Pollock, Samaras, Dubuffet and Lichtenstein. At the moment she is exploring the significance of “paper as part of the picture”, the possibility of applying computer-generated pattern recognition algorithms to the characterization of antique papers, specifically as used in Rembrandt prints, and Jean Dubuffet’s assemblages d’empreintes – specifically, were they created through myth or deliberate manipulation? Historical and Philosophical Issues in the Conservation of Works of Art on Paper, for which she served as volume editor, and which was published by the Getty Conservation Institute in 2014. The revised edition of The Care of Prints and Drawings will be published in 2016.  Professional and academic awards have included the Caroline and Sheldon Keck Award (2003) for a sustained record of excellence in education, the Rutherford John Gettens Merit Award (1997) in recognition of outstanding service to the profession both conferred by the AIC, a Fellowship from the American Academy in Rome (1994), the first Rome Prize (1994) to be awarded to a conservator, and a scholars residency at the Getty Conservation Institute in 2015. Currently, she is the Vice-President and Fellow of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works of Art (AIC), Fellow of the International Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (IIC), and Accredited Conservator/Restorer of the International Institute of Conservation (ICON).

Colleen Boyle

Colleen Boyle (SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT-NATIONAL SALES DIRECTOR) brings over 20 years of experience in the art and financial world to Pall Mall Art Advisors. A member of the International Society of Appraisers and USPAP compliant, she has valuated art and antiques for corporations, museums and private collectors throughout the United States and provided legal analysis for court cases involving art valuation and identification. Colleen regularly publishes articles in local, regional and on-line press, as well as conducting lectures and continuing education classes on diverse topics pertinent to art and antiques.

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