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F is for Fake

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Fun fact, forgeries are everywhere. They pop up at auction and get sold through private sales, they are lingering in private collections and decorating walls of the encyclopedic museums. They are in the news and in the movies. They are a product of supply and demand lines and have the power of making a deceased artists to have increasing body of works.

Join us for an art law program Aaron H. Crowell, Partner with Clarick Gueron Reisbaum LLP, who represented plaintiffs in trial against the Knoedler Gallery. Mr. Crowell will discuss “F for Fake” in the context of the cyclical patterns of supply and demand that result in creating of art forgeries. Our moderator, and author of the only-known Knoedler Gallery Obituary, Irina Tarsis, Founder and Managing Director of the Center for Art Law.

This program is meant to be a supplementary discussion to a viewing of the 1973 classic, F for Fake with and by the legendary Orson Welles. The film, with “one hour of truth,” loosely documents and mostly comments on the lives of infamous forgers Elmyr de Hory and Clifford Irving. One of the two committed suicide to avoid prison time and the other wrote a fake autobiography of Howard Hughes. What are the fundamental elements of “fraud,” who commits fraud and why, isn’t art made by forgers still art? 

About our Speaker:

Aaron H. Crowell, Partner with Clarick Gueron Reisbaum LLP, brings a creative, problem-solving approach to art and intellectual property disputes, corporate and securities matters, and contract and employment issues. An experienced litigator with a practice encompassing all aspects of pre-trial, trial, and appellate practice, he also advises corporate and individual clients on how to resolve legal entanglements before litigation is necessary. Mr. Crowell twice received The Legal Aid Society’s Pro Bono Publico Award for his work on behalf of New York State inmates, and was named a New York Metro “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers for numerous years. Before joining CGR, Mr. Crowell was an associate at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison. He also served as a law clerk to the Honorable Reena Raggi of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and to the Honorable Denise L. Cote of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Course Materials