Daily Dose Pick: Provenance


In Provenance, investigative reporters Laney Salisbury and Aly Sujo chronicle one of the boldest art forgeries of the 20th century.

The story follows John Myatt, a talented but downtrodden artist of “genuine fakes,” who was connived into a fraud scheme by con man John Drewe. The duo’s deception included spectacular imitations of second-tier artists, as well as an elaborate process of infiltrating the archives of the world’s most prestigious museums.

The authors portray the deceptive glamour and romance of art forgery with the detailed wit and well-paced narrative of a suspense thriller. It may lack the fictional flair of, say, The Thomas Crown Affair, but Provenance‘s gory details are just as enticing.

Though Myatt and Drewe were eventually caught out — an inevitability, considering that Myatt’s allergy to classic oil paint forced him to use an alternative — the carnage they wrought is still largely evident. Of the approximately 200 forgeries sold, more than half remain unaccounted for — unknowingly hung on the walls of museums and private collectors around the world.

News feature/interview: Ex forger John Myatt

Visit Salisbury’s website, read an interview with her, check out Myatt’s own website, watch a video of Myatt’s visit to the Tate Liverpool’s Glenn Brown exhibit, and buy

the book.