With his trademark humor and irreverence, Thomas Hoving, former director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and bestselling author of Making the Mummies Dance, delves into an important aspect of modern culture - art forgery - to reveal the appalling scams, the duplicitous perpetrators, and the hapless dupes, from the beginning of civilization to the present. This is a big, broad book on art fakes, fakers, and suckers written in Hoving's signature style - amusing, wicked, and mischievous. From the shroud of Turin to Pre-Columbian pottery, Hoving covers the biggest, the best, the most embarrassing, and the most costly forgeries - most never before published, some he himself collected. He explains the differences between out-right forgeries and works so overly restored and tarted up the result is tantamount to forgery. Hoving exposes the scams and tells why people, including knowledgeable collectors, continue to fall for them. He characterizes the fakers, their middlemen, and the "marks, " the greedy, gullible, and moneyed private collectors and institutions who got taken in by some of the most amusing and imaginative con games of all time. He examines the motives of the fakers and the dupes (it's not always money), and introduces us to the talented "fakebusters" whose job it is to expose the truth. And he answers the question, "If a fake fools everybody, why isn't it as good as the genuine article?"
Thomas Hoving, former director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, also served as editor of Connoisseur and cultural correspondent for ABC's 20/20. The author of fifteen books, including the bestsellers Making the Mummies Dance and Tutankhamun, he lives in New York City.