Thursday, March 28, 2013

Degas Forgeries, The Bait and Switch at the Foothills Art Center

Edgar Degas and William Thornley, La Chanteuse, 1888-89
http://foothillsartcenter.org/fac/press/
ONE OF FOUR NON-DISCLOSED CHROMIST-MADE REPRODUCTIONS 
MISREPRESENTED AS LITHOGRAPHS

NOTE:  Footnotes are enclosed as [FN ].

The Foothills Art Center's April 6, 2013 to June 30, 2013  Edgar Degas, The Private Impressionist Works on Paper by the Artist and his Circle from the Collection of Robert Flynn Johnson  exhibition, organized by Landau Traveling Exhibitions, Los Angeles, CA in association with Denenberg Fine Arts, West Hollywood, CA., contains:
  • one non-disclosed posthumous [after 1919] 3rd-generation-removed brass [not bronze] sculptural forgery, with a counterfeit Degas signature, falsely attributed as an original work of visual art ie., "sculpture" with a misleading date that predate Degas' death, 
  • seventeen non-disclosed posthumous [after 1919] impressions from cancelled plates, falsely attributed as original works of visual art ie.,  "etchings" with misleading dates that predate Degas' death, 
  • six non-disclosed posthumous [1934-1935] chromist-made reproductions misleadingly represented as: "photogravure etchings and aquatint," and
  • four non-disclosed lifetime chromist-made reproductions by chromists William Thornley and Auguste Clot misrepresented as an original works of visual art ie., lithographs.


On page 660 of the Seventh Edition of Black's Law Dictionary, -forgery- is defined as: "The act of fraudulently making a false document or altering a real one to be used as if genuine."[FN 1]

Edgar Degas died in 1917. 


Aside chromist-made lifetime reproductions can never be lithographs, the dead don't sculpt or etch.

Yet, the Foothills Art Center would have the public and others believe and act on that belief, for the monetary considerations including but not limited to: $10 price of admission, city-state-federal grants and corporate sponsorship, that they are "thrilled to bring an extraordinary and rarely viewed exhibition to Colorado, from April 6 through June 30, 2013! Edgar Degas: The Private Impressionist presents a unique selection of drawings, prints and photographs by the illustrious French artist, Edgar Degas (1834-1917)."[FN 2]

Ironically, as noted above, at least twenty-four of the non-disclosed forgeries, falsely attributed to Edgar Degas in this "rarely viewed exhibition," haven't even been viewed by the dead Edgar Degas himself. 

On page 137 of the Seventh Edition of Black's Law Dictionary, -bait and switch- is defined as: "Most states prohibit the bait and switch when the original product is not actually available as advertised."[FN 3]

This monograph will document that in the case of at least twenty-eight, the "original product is not actually available as advertised" in the Edgar Degas, The Private Impressionist Works on Paper by the Artist and his Circle from the Collection of Robert Flynn Johnson exhibition being held at the Foothills Art Center from April 6, 2013 to June 30, 2013.




"Edgar Degas [French, 1834-1917], Head, Study of the Portrait of Mademoiselle's
c. 1892-95, bronze sculpture, Image size in: 7 x 5 x 4", 
Frame size in: Entire Case Size with base: 18 x 9 x 9 [inches]"
Degaslistfinal.pdf  and  http://www.a-r-t.com/degas/images/
ONE NON-DISCLOSED 3RD-GENERATION-REMOVED POSTHUMOUS BRASS FORGERY 
FALSELY ATTRIBUTED AS A LIFETIME BRONZE SCULPTURE

THE BAIT
On their website, in their Edgar Degas, The Private Impressionist Works on Paper by the Artist and His Circle exhibition checklist, the Landau Traveling Exhibitions gives the following description: 


  • 1 OF 28 NON-DISCLOSED FORGERIES: "Edgar Degas [French, 1834-1917], Head, Study of the Portrait of Mademoiselle's, c. 1892-95, bronze sculpture, Image size in: 7 x 5 x 4", Frame size in: Entire Case Size with base: 18 x 9 x 9 [inches]"


THE SWITCH
Edgar Degas [1834-1917] never cast his sculptures in bronze, much less in brass.

Here are just five references that confirm this and other devastating facts surrounding the hundred upon hundreds of  non-disclosed posthumous 2nd to 3rd-generation-removed brass [not bronze] forgeries with counterfeit Degas signatures in museum and personal collections around the world:

DEGAS' TRUE INTENT
On page 95 of the College Art Association’s published spring 1995 art journal, in a "Degas Bronzes?" article by Roger J. Crum, the author wrote: “In Wilken’s essay we read that in 1921 Francois Thiebault-Sisson recalled that Degas had once said: I modeled animals and people in wax for my own satisfaction, not to take to rest from painting or drawing, but to give more expression, more spirit, and more life to my paintings and drawings. They are exercises to get me started. My sculptures will never give that impression of completion that is the ultimate goal of the statue-maker’s trade and since, after all, no one will ever see these efforts, no one should think of speaking about them, not even you. After my death all that will fall apart by itself, and that will be better for my reputation. (p. 23).”[FN 4]

DEGAS NEVER CAST HIS SCULPTURE
On page 180 in the National Gallery of Art’s published 1998 Degas at the Races catalogue,  in Daphne S. Barbour’s and Shelly G. Sturman’s “The Horse in Wax and Bronze” essay, these authors wrote: “Degas never cast his sculpture in bronze, claiming that it was a “tremendous responsibility to leave anything behind in bronze -- the medium is for eternity.”[FN 5]

2ND TO 3RD GENERATION REMOVED
On page 78 of the “Degas; The Sculptures” essay by Hirshhorn Curator of Sculpture Valerie J. Fletcher, published in Ann Dumas and David A. Brenneman’s 2001 Degas and America The Early Collectors catalogue, the author wrote: “In 1919-20 Hebrard’s founder Albino Palazzolo, made a first set of {Degas} bronzes. -- Those 'masters' served to make molds for casting edition of twenty-two bronzes. Technically, all bronzes except the master set are surmoulages.”'[FN 6]

COUNTERFEIT DEGAS SIGNATURES
On page 32-33 in Charles W. Milliard’s 1976 The Sculpture of Edgar Degas, the author wrote: “Each cast is stamped with the legend 'cire perdue A.A. Hebrard' in relief, and incised with the signature ‘Degas.’” Later on page 34, the author wrote: “At least some of the casts were set on wooden bases into which the signature “Degas” was burned.”[FN 7]

BRASS NOT BRONZE
This metallurgical discovery is confirmed on page 26 of the National Gallery of Art’s published 2010 Edgar Degas Sculptures catalogue, in the “Degas’ Bronzes Analyzed” essay by Shelly G. Sturman and Daphne S. Barbour. In part, the authors wrote: “Analysis of the elemental surface composition of the National Gallery sculptures was performed using X R F, a noninvasive technique. An alloy of copper and zinc with low to medium tin and traces of lead was used to cast all the sculptures. Results were also compared to X R F analysis undertaken at the Norton Simon Museum on the bronze modeles and at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on some of the serial A set as well. - Bronze is a misnomer for these sculptures, because they are all cast from brass (copper and zinc with tin).”[FN 8]

The Foothills Art Center, Landau Traveling Exhibitions and the collector Robert Flynn Johnson are perpetuating, for admission fees, corporate sponsorships and other monetary considerations, an Urban Legend/Myth that Edgar Degas cast in bronze, much less brass or that anything cast, much less posthumously, is a sculpture.

What is an Urban Legend/Myth?

An -Urban Legend/Myth-, referencing  University of Utah professor emeritus of English Jan Harold Brunvand’s Too Good to Be True: The Colossal Book of Urban Legends[FN 9] book,  is defined on Wikipedia's website as: “a form of modern folklore consisting of stories that may or may not have been believed by their tellers to be true. As with all folklore and mythology, the designation suggests nothing about the story's veracity, but merely that it is in circulation, exhibits variation over time, and carries some significance that motivates the community in preserving and propagating it.”[FN 10]

Foothills Art Center continues to propagate the Urban Myth of so-called Edgar Degas bronze sculptures in their website promotion of their subsequently cancelled and removed "A Degas Debate: The Question of Posthumous Castings and Cancelled Plates" symposium where they stated: ''Museum curators and scholars generally accept that estate castings of wax sculptures are legitimate and should be treated as original works of art."

Here are independent and documented references that undermine that Urban Myth and the Foothills Art Center's non-sensical perspective:

On page 609 of the 610 page National Gallery of Canada, Metropolitan Museum of Art and Reunion des Musees Nationaux, Paris' published 1988 Degas exhibition catalogue edited by Jean Sutherland Boggs, after perpetuating repeatedly throughout the catalogue the Urban Myth of lifetime dates for bronzes attributed to Edgar Degas in the exhibition, one of the catalogue contributors Metropolitan Museum of Art curators Gary Tinterow wrote a "A Note on Degas's Bronzes" essay. In the very first line of that essay, the curator wrote: "The bronzes included in this exhibition, like those widely distributed throughout the world, are posthumous, second-generation casts of the original wax sculptures by Degas."[FN 11]

Later in this same essay, the Metropolitan Museum of Art curator Gary Tinterow contradicts his assertion of "wax sculpture by Degas," when he wrote they were made of: "fragile plasteline, wax and cork amalgams supported by amateurish armatures."[FN 12] 

That makes Edgar Degas' original lifetime sculptures in mixed media which as a result could -never- be cast directly into bronze, much less brass, without either cracking the mold destroying the model or exploding the mold destroying the model because the inevitable gases that would form from the burning of various material, such as cork, cloth, paper, paint brushes, wire and plasteline along with wax used by Edgar Degas in his models. 

As a result, posthumous wax reproductions were made, by the hands and fingers of the foundry workers with their fingerprints in them, from the posthumous reconstructed and altered Edgar Degas mixed-media models, for lost-wax casting the subsequent second-generation-removed brass[s] which were used as masters to cast the 3rd-generation-removed brass suromoulages.

In other words, a posthumous brass copy of a posthumous brass copy of a posthumous wax copy. 

So, what was the real posthumous motivation behind the posthumous castings? 

This is addressed on page 610 of the Metropolitan Museum of Art curator Gary Tinterow's essay, where he wrote: "In an unpublished letter to Louisine Havemeyer, Cassatt wrote that she had received a letter "from Mlle Fevre, Degas's niece, with the account of how their [the family's] hands were forced by the press [to have them cast], under the instigation of a sculptor friend of Degas [Bartholome] who needs to wrap himself in Degas's genius, not having any of his own."[FN 13] 

J. Paul Getty Museum, under their Getty Research, defines -counterfeit- as: "forgeries (derivative objects)" with a note stating: "Reproductions of whole objects when the intention is to deceive; includes sculptures cast without the artist's permission."[FN 14]

So. despite Landau Traveling Exhibitions' advertising on their website the  Head, Study of the Portrait of Mademoiselle's as a "bronze sculpture" by Edgar Degas with an "c. 1892-95" date, the non-disclosed posthumous casting of brass surmoulages, much less in bronze, from posthumously cast bronze/brass[s] from posthumously reproduced waxes by the hands and fingers of the foundry workers with their fingerprints from posthumously reconstructed  and altered Edgar Degas mixed-models did not begin till 1919, some two years his death in 1917.

The dead don't give permission.

Remember, on page 660 of the Seventh Edition of Black's Law Dictionary, -forgery- is defined as: "The act of fraudulently making a false document or altering a real one to be used as if genuine."[FN 15]

Therefore, rhetorically, is the Foothills Art Center, in their April 6, 2013 to June 30, 2013  Edgar Degas, The Private Impressionist Works on Paper by the Artist and his Circle from the Collection of Robert Flynn Johnson  exhibition, offering for the $10 price of admission and other monetary considerations an "original product [that] is not actually available as advertised?"


"Edgar Degas (French, 1834-1917), Mary Cassatt at the Louvre the Etruscan Gallery, 1879-80, 
Softground etching, drypoint, aquatint, and etching, from the canceled plate, 
Image size in: 12 x 9 7/8" Frame size in: 21 x 16 x 1 [inches]" 
Degaslistfinal.pdf  
http://foothillsartcenter.org/fac/press/
ONE OF SEVENTEEN NON-DISCLOSED POSTHUMOUS FORGERIES 
FALSELY ATTRIBUTED AS LIFETIME ETCHINGS

THE BAIT
On their website, in their Edgar Degas, The Private Impressionist Works on Paper by the Artist and His Circle exhibition checklist[FN 16], Landau Traveling Exhibitions misrepresents seventeen non-disclosed posthumous forgeries, posthumously impressed from cancelled plates between 1919 and 1981 or later, as original works of visual art ie., etchings by Edgar Degas with dates ranging from 1857 to 1880 that pre-date his death in 1917:

  • 2 OF 28 NON-DISCLOSED FORGERIES: "Edgar Degas [French, 1834-1917], Edgar Degas: Self-Portrait, 1857, etching and drypoint, from the canceled plate, Image size in: 10 1/2 x 7", Frame size in: 21 x 16 x 3/4 [inches]"

  • 3 OF 28 NON-DISCLOSED FORGERIES: "Edgar Degas (French, 1834-1917), The Engraver, Joseph Tourny, 1857, Etching, from the canceled plate, Image size in: 9 1/2 x 6 1/4" Frame size in: 21 x 16 x 3/4 [inches]"

  • 4 OF 28 NON-DISCLOSED FORGERIES: "Edgar Degas (French, 1834-1917), Mlle, Nathalie Wolkonska, ca. 1860-61, Etching, from the canceled plate, Image size in: 5 1/2 x 4 5/8" Frame size in: 21 x 16 x 3/4 [inches]"

  • 5 OF 28 NON-DISCLOSED FORGERIES: "Edgar Degas (French, 1834-1917), Marguerite Degas, The Artist's Sister, ca. 1860-62, Etching, from the canceled plate, Image size in: 13 7/8  x 11" Frame size in: 21 x 16 x 1 [inches]"

  • 6 OF 28 NON-DISCLOSED FORGERIES: "Edgar Degas (French, 1834-1917), Manet Seated, Turned to the Left, ca. 1854-65, Etching, from the canceled plate, Image size in: 7 1/2 x 5 1/2" Frame size in: 20 7/8 x 15 7/8 x 3/4 [inches]" 

  • 7 OF 28 NON-DISCLOSED FORGERIES: "Edgar Degas (French, 1834-1917), Manet Seated, Turned to the Right, ca. 1864-65, Etching and drypoint, from the canceled plate, Image size in: 16 7/8 x 12 1/8" Frame size in: 21 x 16 x 1 [inches]" 

  • 8 OF 28 NON-DISCLOSED FORGERIES: "Edgar Degas (French, 1834-1917), Edouard Manet, Bust-Length Portrait, ca. 1864-65, Etching, drypoint, and aquatint, from the canceled plate, Image size in: 6 x 5" Frame size in: 21 x 16 x 4 3/4 [inches]" 

  • 9 OF 28 NON-DISCLOSED FORGERIES: "Edgar Degas (French, 1834-1917), Alphonse Hirsch, 1875, Drypoint and aquatint, Restrike edition, Image size in: 7 5/8 x 5 3/4" Frame size in: 21 x 16 x 1 [inches]"

  • 10 OF 28 NON-DISCLOSED FORGERIES: "Edgar Degas (French, 1834-1917), On Stage III, ca. 1876-77, Softground etching, drypoint, and roulette, from the canceled plate, Image size in: 9 7/8 x 12 5/8" Frame size in: 21 x 16 x 1 [inches]"

  • 11 OF 28 NON-DISCLOSED FORGERIES: "Edgar Degas (French, 1834-1917), Two Dancers in a Rehearsal Room, Aquatint, drypoint and scraping, from the canceled plate, Image size in: 12 5/8 x 9 7/8" Frame size in: 21 x 16 x 1 [inches]"

  • 12 OF 28 NON-DISCLOSED FORGERIES: "Edgar Degas (French, 1834-1917), Leaving the Bath, ca. 1879-80, Drypoint and aquatint,  from the canceled plate, Image size in: 13 3/4 x 10 7/8" Frame size in: 21 x 16 x 1 [inches]" 

  • 13 OF 28 NON-DISCLOSED FORGERIES: "Edgar Degas (French, 1834-1917), Head and Shoulders of a Young Woman in Profile, ca 1879, Soft ground etching, from the canceled plate, Image size in:13 x 9 3/4" Frame size in: 21 x 16 x 1 [inches]" 

  • 14 OF 28 NON-DISCLOSED FORGERIES: "Edgar Degas (French, 1834-1917), Seated Woman in a Bonnet and Shawl, ca 1879, Aquatint, drypoint and scraping, from the canceled plate, Image size in: 13 x 10" Frame size in: 21 x 16 x 1 [inches]"

  • 15 OF 28 NON-DISCLOSED FORGERIES: "Edgar Degas (French, 1834-1917), At the Cafe Des Ambassadeurs, ca. 1879-80, Drypoint, aquatint and softground etching, from the canceled plate, Image size in: 9 7/8 x 12 7/8" Frame size in: 21 x 16 x 1 [inches]"

  • 16 OF 28 NON-DISCLOSED FORGERIES: "Edgar Degas (French, 1834-1917), Actresses in the Dressing Room, ca. 1879-80, Etching and aquatint, from the canceled plate, Image size in: 9 3/4 x 12 5/8" Frame size in: 21 x 16 x 1 [inches]"

  • 17 OF 28 NON-DISCLOSED FORGERIES: "Edgar Degas (French, 1834-1917), Mary Cassatt at the Louvre the Etruscan Gallery, 1879-80, Softground etching, drypoint, aquatint, and etching, from the canceled plate, Image size in: 12 x 9 7/8" Frame size in: 21 x 16 x 1 [inches]" 

  • 18 OF 28 NON-DISCLOSED FORGERIES: "Edgar Degas (French, 1834-1917), Mary Cassatt at the Louvre the Etruscan Gallery, 1879-80, Softground etching, drypoint, aquatint, and etching, from the canceled plate, Image size in: 12 x 9 7/8" Frame size in: 21 x 16 x 1 [inches]" 

THE SWITCH
The Landau Traveling Exhibition's -representation- of lifetime "etchings," attributed to Edgar Degas, with dates ranging from 1857 to 1880, is contradicted by the following -disclosure- of  the so-called "printed editions" posthumously impressed "after his death" in "1919-20" or later, by these three sources:

  1. On the Spaightwood Galleries' website, it states: "Degas was a dedicated print collector (at his death he owned 1700 Daumier lithographs and 1900 prints by Gavarni). He made etchings, for the most part, from live subjects, sketching with an etching needle on a copperplate, and printed to please himself. Most of his prints are known only because after his death, his dealer, Ambroise Vollard, printed editions of 150 from the cancelled plates found in his studio."[FN 17]
  2. On the Pasquale Iannetti Art Gallery's website, it states: "An edition of 150 impressions was printed for Ambroise Vollard circa 1919-20 from 21 copper plates which had been etched by Degas between 1855 and 1884, but which had since been canceled."[FN 18]
  3. On JD Smith Fine Art's website, it states: "The original copper plate [for The Laundresses] was executed in 1879-80. This is a fine impression of Reed and Shapiro's fourth state after cancellation of the plate.  It was printed as part of Ambroise Vollard's 1919 edition of ~150 impressions from Degas' cancelled plates.  Catalog raisonne reference:  Reed and Shapiro, Edgar Degas:  The Painter as Printmaker, 48.  Adhemar and Cachin, Degas:  The Complete Etchings, Lithographs and Monotypes, 32."[FN 19]

THE FINISHED PRINT IS APPROVED BY THE ARTIST
Forty-seven years ago in A GUIDE TO THE COLLECTING AND CARE OF ORIGINAL PRINTS sponsored by the The Print Council of America and authored by Carl Zigrosser and Christa M. Gaehde, the authors wrote: "An original print is a work of art, the general requirements of which are: a. The artist alone has created the master image in or upon the plate, stone, wood block or other material, for the purpose of creating the print. b. The print is made from the said material, by the artist or pursuant to his directions. c. The finished print is approved by the artist."[FN 20] 

The dead don't etch, much less approve.

LATER IMPRESSIONS ARE USUALLY NOT THE DESIRE OF THE ARTIST 
As for printing impressions from an artist's canceled plates,  JD Smith Fine Art, on their website, states: "When an artist finishes printing the number of impressions they want of a work (the total edition size), they usually “cancel” the plate. To cancel the plate, they typically scribe noticeable crosshatch or “X” lines across the plate. These lines cross the image and will show up on any later impressions made from the plate. The lines indicate that any later impressions were not part of the original edition. Cancelling a plate is the best way an artist has to protect the value of the impressions in the official edition.  - Usually  impressions from cancelled plates are done by a dealer or printer to make additional money from a popular artist’s work. These later impressions are usually not the desire of the artist."[FN 21]

The dead don't etch, much less desire.

Then to go from bad to worse, the posthumous impressions from these Edgar Degas' canceled plates and the misrepresentation of those posthumous impressions as original works of visual art ie., etchings falsely attributed to Edgar Degas was continued, by Frank Perls Gallery [1939-1981][FN 22], after Ambroise Vollard's death on July 21, 1939. 

FRANK PERLS GALLERY
The A & R Gallery, located in Birmingham, UK, who is offering for sale on their website a titled The Laundress impression attributed to Edgar Degas as an "Original Etching and aquatint, Fourth state, 1879/80," makes the following astonishing admission on their website:  "Our piece was made by Frank Perls Gallery of 350 N Camden Drive, Beverley Hills, California and was one of 26 etchings made in a limited edition at that time. These were printed by Lacouriere in Paris on Vieux Japan paper. The pieces from the small edition (quantity unstipulated) were made with the printers blindstamp but a number of additional printers proofs were made, of which ours is an example, without this blindstamp. The piece must be a rarity since it is hardly ever seen."[FN 23]

In The Fifth Edition of the Artist`s Handbook of Materials and Techniques by Ralph Mayer, the author wrote: "The major traditional graphic-arts processes of long standing and continued popularity are lithograph,  etching,  drypoint,  woodcutting or wood engraving, aquatint, and soft-ground etching. ...The term `graphic arts` excludes all forms of mechanically reproduced works photographed or redrawn on plates; all processes in which the artist did not participate to his or her fullest capacity are reproductions."[FN 24]

The dead don't etch, much less participate.

So. despite Landau Traveling Exhibitions' advertising on their website the Edgar Degas: Self-Portrait as an "etching and drypoint, from a canceled plate" by Edgar Degas with a "1857" date, this posthumous impression was actually printed between 1919 to 1981 or later, some 2 to 64 years or more after Edgar Degas' death in 1917.

IMPRESSIONS WHOLLY EXECUTED BY HAND BY THE ARTIST
In U.S. Custom`s May 2006 An Informed Compliance Publication titled Works of Art, Collector`s Pieces Antiques, and Other Cultural Property, it states: "The expression original engravings, prints and lithographs means impressions produced directly, in black and white or in color, of one or of several plates wholly executed by hand by the artist, irrespective of the process or of the material employed by him, but excluding any mechanical or photomechanical process."[FN 25]

The dead don't etch, much less wholly execute.

COMITE NATIONAL DE GRAVEURS OF FRANCE
Interestingly, in 1964, the Comite National de Graveurs of France rigidly set a similar definition of an original print as: "Impressions produced in color or black and white from one or more matrices conceived and executed by the artist himself whatever the technique employed and excluding all mechanical and photomechanical processes."[FN 26]

Remember, on page 660 of the Seventh Edition of Black's Law Dictionary, -forgery- is defined as: "The act of fraudulently making a false document or altering a real one to be used as if genuine."[FN 27]

Therefore, rhetorically, is the Foothills Art Center, in their April 6, 2013 to June 30, 2013  Edgar Degas, The Private Impressionist Works on Paper by the Artist and his Circle from the Collection of Robert Flynn Johnson  exhibition, offering for the $10 price of admission and other monetary considerations an "original product [that] is not actually available as advertised?"


"Self Portrait, Edgar Degas (French, 1834-1917), 1857,  etching and drypoint, Sheet: h:31.50 w:22.60 cm (h:12 3/8 w:8 7/8 inches) Platemark - h:23.00 w:14.50 cm (h:9 w:5 11/16 inches), John L. Severance Fund, Accession No.: 2004.87, Inscription: Lower left margin, in litho crayon: á Bartholomé / Degas [Cleveland Museum of Art's collection]"
AUTHENTIC LIFETIME ETCHING BY DEGAS


The above is an authentic lifetime etching created and printed by Edgar Degas.

On the Cleveland Museum of  Art’s website, it gives the following description for the above authentic lifetime Edgar Degas created Self-Portrait etching in their collection: “At the beginning of his career, Edgar Degas frequently used himself as a model for portrait drawings and oil paintings, though this is his only self-portrait in a print medium. Degas almost certainly executed this study of himself holding a pencil and sheet of paper in 1857 in Rome, where he had gone to study art. Since he had made only a few etchings previously, he had difficulty biting the copper printing plate in acid. Although some accidental biting is visible, the artist also experimented with bitten tone to achieve darker areas within the figure and a rich, shadowy background. Degas studied Rembrandt’s prints, and like the master, he wiped the printing ink off the surface of the plate carefully, yet differently, for each impression, thereby modeling the figure in light and shade, enhancing the atmospheric quality of the background, and allowing the eyes, clearly drawn, to look directly at the viewer. The result is an intensely powerful, psychological portrait of the artist at age 23. This impression of this very rare print (there are only about ten known impressions) is inscribed to the artist’s friend, the sculptor Paul-Albert Bartholomé.”[FN 28]

 
    

On left: "Self Portrait, Edgar Degas (French, 1834-1917), 1857,  etching and drypoint, Sheet: h: 31.50 w: 22.60 cm (h: 12 3/8 w: 8 7/8 inches) Platemark - h: 23.00 w: 14.50 cm (h: 9 w:  11/16 inches), John L. Severance Fund, Accession No.: 2004.87, Inscription: Lower left margin, in litho crayon: á Bartholomé / Degas [Cleveland Museum of Art's collection]"


On right: "Edgar Degas [French, 1834-1917], Edgar Degas: Self-Portrait, 1857, etching and drypoint, from the canceled plate, Image size in: 10 1/2 x 7", Frame size in: 21 x 16 x 3/4 [inches], " Listing & Photo: Degaslistfinal.pdf, http://www.a-r-t.com/degas/images/


Edgar Degas cancelled his plates for a reason. Edgar Degas never printed cancellation proofs from his cancelled plates for a reason. Edgar Degas sold his cancelled plates to the art dealer Ambroise Vollard for a reason. Ambroise Vollard had thousands of posthumous impressions impressed from those cancelled plates for a reason. Gallery owner Frank Perls acquired those cancellation plates and had thousands of posthumous impressions impressed for a reason. Now 21st-century museum professionals and collectors are exhibiting these thousands upon thousands of posthumous impressions as authentic Edgar Degas etchings with dates that predate his death in 1917 and doing so for a reason.

Rhetorically, does it all sound reasonable except for Edgar Degas's true legacy, legitimate living artists and those of the past who actually created and printed their etchings, not to mention those who sell fully disclosed reproductions as reproductions?


   

"Maurice Potin, (French, active early 20th Centry), after Edgar Degas, Waiting for the Client, 1935 (original ca. 1879), photogravue etching and aquatint after the original monotype, 
Image size in: 8 1/8 x 6 5/8" Frame size In: 21 x 16 x 3/4 [inches]"
Degaslistfinal.pdf 
ONE OF SIX NON-DISCLOSED CHROMIST-MADE FORGERIES
MISREPRESENTED AS ETCHINGS

THE BAIT
On their website, in their Edgar Degas, The Private Impressionist Works on Paper by the Artist and His Circle exhibition checklist[FN 29], Landau Traveling Exhibitions lists six non-disclosed posthumous [1934-1935] chromist-made forgeries [two of which have counterfeit Degas signatures] by Maurice Potin, from Edgar Degas's monotypes, as original works of visual art ie., etchings:

  • 19 OF 28 NON-DISCLOSED FORGERIES: "Maurice Potin, (French, active early 20th Centry), after Edgar Degas, Waiting for the Client, 1935 (original ca. 1879), photogravue etching and aquatint after the original monotype, Image size in: 8 1/8 x 6 5/8" Frame size In: 21 x 16 x 3/4 [inches]" [counterfeit Degas signature bottom right]

  • 20 OF 28 NON-DISCLOSED FORGERIES: "Maurice Potin, (French, active early 20th Century), after Edgar Degas, Le Client Serieux, 1934 (original ca. 1879), photogravue etching and aquatint after the original monotype, Image size in: 10 1/4 x 7 7/8" Frame size In: 21 x 16 x 3/4 [inches]"

  • 21 OF 28 NON-DISCLOSED FORGERIES: "Maurice Potin, (French, active early 20th Century), after Edgar Degas, Trois Filles Assises de Face, 1934 (original ca. 1879), photogravue etching and aquatint after the original monotype, Image size in: 8 1/2 x 10" Frame size In: 16 x 21 x 3/4 [inches]"

  • 22 OF 28 NON-DISCLOSED FORGERIES: "Maurice Potin, (French, active early 20th Century), after Edgar Degas, Le Fete de la patronne (Grand), 1934 (original ca. 1878-79), photogravue etching and aquatint after the original monotype, Image size in: 9 x 9 3/4" Frame size In: 16 x 21 x 3/4 [inches]"


  • 23 OF 28 NON-DISCLOSED FORGERIES: "Maurice Potin, (French, active early 20th Century), after Edgar Degas, Femmes Nues, 1935 (original ca. 1879), photogravue etching and aquatint after the original monotype, Image size in: 9 7/8 x 12 5/8" Frame size In: 21 x 16 x 1 [inches]" [counterfeit Degas signature bottom right outside image]

  • 24 OF 28 NON-DISCLOSED FORGERIES: "Maurice Potin, (French, active early 20th Century), after Edgar Degas, Femme DeBout Dans une Baignoire, 1935 (original ca. 1878), photogravue etching and aquatint after the original monotype, Image size in: 12 3/4 x 9 7/8" Frame size In: 21 x 16 x 1 [inches]"

In a prior March 10, 2011 DEGAS: THE PRIVATE IMPRESSIONIST Exhibition checklist, the Landau Traveling Exhibition listed sixteen "1934 Color engraving and aquatint after monotype by Edgar Degas by Maurice Potin (French 1874-?) commissioned by Vollard."[FN 30]



THE SWITCH
The Landau Traveling Exhibition's -representation- of "photogravue etchings and aquatint after the original monotype," with the attribution of "after Edgar Degas," fails to clearly give full and honest disclosure to what is nothing more, at best, than chromist-made -reproductions- by Maurice Potin.

On page 8 of HarperCollins' published 1991 Dictionary of Art Terms & Techniques by Ralph Mayer, -after- is defined as a: "word used in an artist's inscription to indicate that his or her picture or sculpture was modeled on the work of another artist. It generally signifies a faithful copy of the original."[FN 31]

On page 350 of HarperCollins' published 1991 Dictionary of Art Terms & Techniques by Ralph Mayer, -reproduction- is defined as: "a general term for any copy, likeness, or counterpart of an original work of art or of a photograph, done in the same medium as the original or in another, and done by someone other than the creator of the original."[FN 32]

Under U. S. Copyright Law 106A. Rights of certain authors to attribution and integrity, the  "(a) Rights of Attribution and Integrity. — Subject to section 107 and independent of the exclusive rights provided in section 106, the author of a work of visual art —  (1) shall have the right —  (A) to claim authorship of that work, and (3) The rights described in paragraphs (1) and (2) of subsection (a) shall not apply to any reproduction."[FN 33]

Additionally, under the Association of of Art Museum Director's endorsed 2001 Professional Practices, these six non-disclosed posthumous chromist-made reproductions could not even be displayed or sold in a museum gift shop because of the inclusion of what could be inferred as a Degas signature in the bottom right corner of the above posthumous chromist-made reproduction by Maurice Potin titled: Waiting for the Client and Femme Nues.

AAMD'S 2001 PROFESSIONAL PRACTICES
This factual perspective is confirmed on page 31 in the Association of Art Museum Directors' published  2001 Professional Practices in Art Museum publication, it states: "museums must clearly indicate, through the use of integral markings on the objects, as well as signs, labels, and advertising, that these items are reproductions - signatures, editions numbers, and/or foundry marks on sculpture must not appear on the reproduction. - The touting of exaggerated investment value of reproductions must be avoided because the object or work being offered for purchase is not original and the resale value is highly in doubt. - When advertising reproductions, museums should not use language implying that there is any identity of quality between the copy and the original or lead the potential buyer to believe that by purchasing any such reproduction, he or she is acquiring an original work of art."[FN 34]


  

Non-disclosed chromist-made posthumous [1935] reproductions by the Maurice Potin falsely attributed on the cover as "ILLUSTRATIONS D'EDGAR DEGAS" in bogus editions of 305 with 20 marked A-T, SOURCE: http://www.artnet.com/auctions/artists/edgar-degas/mimes-des-courtisanes-de-lucien-group-of-9-engravings-3

Remember, on page 660 of the Seventh Edition of Black's Law Dictionary, -forgery- is defined as: "The act of fraudulently making a false document or altering a real one to be used as if genuine."[FN 35]

Therefore, rhetorically, is the Foothills Art Center, in their April 6, 2013 to June 30, 2013  Edgar Degas, The Private Impressionist Works on Paper by the Artist and his Circle from the Collection of Robert Flynn Johnson  exhibition, offering for the $10 price of admission and other monetary considerations an "original product [that] is not actually available as advertised?"




"Edgar Degas (French, 1834-1917) and George W. Thornley (French, 1840-1926) Danseuse Pres de la Poele, ca. 1888-89, lithograph with Chine applique on thin wove pater applied to greenish-blue paper, Image size in: 12 7/8 x 9 3/4" Frame size in: 12 7/8 x 9 3/4 [inches]"
Listing: Degaslistfinal.pdf  and Photo:
ONE OF FOUR NON-DISCLOSED REPRODUCTIONS 
MISREPRESENTED AS LITHOGRAPHS


THE BAIT
On their website, in their Edgar Degas, The Private Impressionist Works on Paper by the Artist and His Circle exhibition checklist[FN 36], Landau Traveling Exhibitions misrepresents non-disclosed lifetime chromist-made reproductions by George W. Thornley as: 

  • 25 OF 28 NON-DISCLOSED FORGERIES: "Edgar Degas (French, 1834-1917) and George W. Thornley (French, 1840-1926) Danseuse Pres de la Poele, ca. 1888-89, lithograph with Chine applique on thin wove pater applied to greenish-blue paper, Image size in: 12 7/8 x 9 3/4" Frame size in: 12 7/8 x 9 3/4 [inches]"

   

On left: Dancer Resting, c. 1879-80, Pastel and black chalk on off-white wove paper, laid down, 30 1/2 x 21 7/8 (76.5 x 55.5 cm), Inscribed and signed bottom right: a mon ami Duranty/Degas, Private collection, Lemoisne 573, page 331, 1988 Degas, edited by Jean Sutherland Boggs

On right: "Edgar Degas (French, 1834-1917) and George W. Thornley (French, 1840-1926) Danseuse Pres de la Poele, ca. 1888-89, lithograph with Chine applique on thin wove pater applied to greenish-blue paper, Image size in: 12 7/8 x 9 3/4" Frame size in: 12 7/8 x 9 3/4 [inches]," Listing: Degaslistfinal.pdf  and Photo: http://www.williamweston.co.uk/pages/catalogues/single/299/11/1.html


Comparing Degas' original pastel versus George W. Thornley's chromist-made reproduction, these are just a few of the many flaws by George W. Thornley: 1) lack of foreshortening in the lines for the base of the stove, 2) the stove is thinner and lacks proper round shape and detail at the top 3) the jar with the handle lacks the proper perspective and definition and 4) ballet dress lacks straight lines with proper highlights along with the transparent definition of the dancer's legs. In other words, to the layperson, it might look pretty good, but when compared side by side with Edgar Degas's original pastel, it is a sloppy imitation.

  • 26 OF 28 NON-DISCLOSED FORGERIES: "Edgar Degas (French, 1834-1917) and George W. Thornley (French, 1840-1926) La Chanteuse, ca. 1888-89, lithograph with Chine applique, Image size in: 9 1/2 x 8" Frame size In: 21 x 16 x 1 [inches]"

    

On left: "Edgar Degas (French, 1834-1917) and George W. Thornley (French, 1840-1926) La Chanteuse, ca. 1888-89, lithograph with Chine applique, Image size in: 9 1/2 x 8" Frame size In: 21 x 16 x 1 [inches], "Listing & Photo: Degaslistfinal.pdf, http://www.a-r-t.com/degas/images/

On right: "175. Edgar Degas, The Song of the Dog, C. 1876-77, Gouache and pastel over monotype on three pieces of paper joined, Image: 22 5/8 x 17 1/8 in. (57.5 x 45.4 cm), Sheet: 24 3/4 x 20 1/8 in. (62.7 x 51.2 cm), Signed lower right Degas, Private collection, Lemoisne 380," [page 290-291, 1988 Degas, edited by Jean Sutherland Boggs]


Additionally, on page 291 of the 1988 Degas catalogue, in the Chapter II, 1873-1881, Michael Pantazzi wrote: "in 1888 George William Thornley reproduced the gouache in a lithograph that follows it closely."

What is not close, and the 1988 Degas catalogue contributor Michael Pantazzi seems, at best, not to understand, is that original works of visual art such as lithographs would never be trivialized as a reproduction of a preexisting work of visual art, much less a gouache even if that gouache was created by Edgar Degas. 


  

On left: "Edgar Degas (French, 1834-1917) and George W. Thornley (French, 1840-1926) La Chanteuse, ca. 1888-89, lithograph with Chine applique, Image size in: 9 1/2 x 8" Frame size In: 21 x 16 x 1 [inches], "Links for listing & photo: Degaslistfinal.pdf, http://www.a-r-t.com/degas/images/

On right: "43. After Edgar Degas, La Chanteuse from Quinze Lithographies, Lithograph, C. 1888-89, by George William Thornley, printed in black, on cream chine applique mounted on a greenish blue backing sheet, from the edition of 100 (plus 25 proofs), with Thornley's lithographed signature, printed by Atelier Becquet, Paris, published by Boussod-Valadon, Paris, 236 x 198 mm (9 1/4 x 7 3/4 in.), Sold for 720 [pounds] inc. premium. [22 Sept 2010 130:00 BST London, Knightsbridge Prints including Three British Artists: Piper, Sutherland & Moore and a private collection of British Etchings], Link:  http://www.bonhams.com/auctions/18606/lot/43/

The so-called [George William] Thornley's "lithographed signature" is an euphemism for a reproduction. In other words, George William Thornley did not sign, much less apply his signature to the backing sheet on which these chromist-made reproductions were attached. Additionally, there appears to be no edition numbers applied documenting its' limitation to an "edition of 100." So, to refer to these non-disclosed chromist-reproductions  attached to paper with reproduced printed type and signature as an original works of visual art ie., lithographs is not only morally troublesome but fraught with potential serious questions of law for those who attempt to profit from them without giving full and honest disclosure.
  


After Degas Edgar, (Hilaire-Germain-Edgar deGas), 1834-1917 (France), The Song of the Dog, Ca. 1888, Lithograph printed in black, by Degas and Thornley, a rare impression from the edition of 25, on chine applique supported on green toned stiff wove paper." Sotheby's L04146, Old Master, Modern and Contemporary Prints, Including Andy Warhol and the Pop Generation, London, Thursday, July 1, 2004, Estimate: 3000 GBP - 4,000 GBP [Link: http://www.artvalue.com/auctionresult--after-degas-edgar-hilaire-germ-the-song-of-the-dog-1829913.htm ]

The above non-disclosed reproduction titled The Song of the Dog a.k.a. La Chanteuse is -not- a lithograph whether or not the signatures are by "Degas" and "G.W. Thornley. This confirmed by Sotheby's use of the term "after Degas" as an euphemism for reproduction. Sotheby's, in their "Glossary of terms" used in their catalogues ["issue consulted: London, December 11, 2003, Old Master Paintings, p. 306"],  defines -after- as: "a copy by an unknown artist of a known work of art. Additionally, in Christies New York auction house's glossary published in May 2005 catalog, -after- is defined as: "In Christie's qualified opinion a copy of the work of the artist." 
SOURCES: www.arlisna.org/organization/sec/cataloging/attribution_qualifiers.pdf 

Second, all of the above non-disclosed reproductions titled The Song of the Dog a.k.a. La Chanteuse are -not- numbered and therefore are not limited, particularly since reproductions by their very nature are not limited. 

Third, above non-disclosed reproduction titled The Song of the Dog a.k.a. La Chanteuse is -not- an "artist proof," much less limited to 25, since -artist proof- is defined as: "one of the proofs in a limited edition of original prints. An artist's proof must bear the artist's signature or mark and, since the early 20th century, is usually numbered." [page 23, HarperCollins published 1991 Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques by Ralph Mayer]

Fourth,  in the Bonham auction house's listing for the titled La Chanteuse disclosed as "After Edgar Degas," the so-called "Thornley's lithographed signature" is actually being used as an euphemism for a reproduced "G.W. Thornley" signature printed on the "green toned stiff wove paper" that is used as backing for the non-disclosed chromist-made reproductions. In addition, these non-disclosed reproductions have the publisher's name "Chex MPI BOUSSOD & VALADON 19. BdMontmartre" and printer "Imp. Becquet freres a Paris" also reproduced on the "green toned stiff wove paper" used as backing for the non-disclosed chromist-made reproductions. 

In other words, whether titled The Song of the Dog or La Chanteuse, these non-disclosed chromist-made reproductions are -not- lithographs, -not- numbered, -not- artist proofs and -not- signed by G.W. Thornley with the possible exception of  twenty-five non-disclosed reproductions, misrepresented as  "artist proofs" that were possibly signed by both Edgar Degas and George William Thornley.   

  • 27 OF 28 NON-DISCLOSED FORGERIES: "Edgar Degas (French, 1834-1917) and George W. Thornley (French, 1840-1926) Sur la Plage, ca. 1888-89, lithograph with Chine applique, Image size in: 7 x 13 1/2" Mount: 8 7/8 x 14, Frame size In: 19 x 23 x 1 [inches]"



THE SWITCH
George W. Thornley was a hired chromist, who copied the artwork of artists, such as Edgar Degas, resulting in reproductions. 

This assertion that George W. Thornley was a hired chromist, who copied Edgar Degas' work as reproductions, is confirmed on page 331 of "Chapter II, 1873-1881" by Michael Pantazzi, in the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the National Gallery of Canada's published 1988 Edgar Degas catalogue edited by Jean Sutherland Boggs, in the description given for the Dancer Resting, c. 1879-80, pastel and black chalk on off-white wove paper, laid down, the author wrote: "As Charles Millard noted in his [1974 The Impressionist and the Salon] catalogue entry on the work, the pastel may have been posed for by Marie van Goethem and should be dated late 1879 or early 1880, shortly before Duranty's death. The work subsequently belonged to another of Degas's friends, Henri Rouart, and while it was in Rouart collection it was reproduced as a lithograph, by George William Thornley, in 1888."[FN 37]

Therefore, when this Edgar Degas, The Private Impressionist Works on Paper by the Artist and His Circle exhibition has three "lithographs" listed as attributed to both the artist Edgar Degas and the chromist George W. Thornley, the Foothills Art Center is actually offering one thing, for the $10 price of admission that, "is not actually available as advertised."

Unfortunately, the use of the term lithographs as an euphemism for reproductions seems to be pervasive throughout the museum and academic industry as witness on page 387 of the same published 1988 Degas catalogue by Jean Sutherland Boggs, where under the subtitle: "Chronology III" and date: "April 1888," the Metropolitan Museum of Art's curator Gary Tinterow wrote: "Four lithographs by the engraver George William Thornley after works by Degas, three "danseuses" and one "femme a la toilette" (all unidentified), are shown at Galerie Boussod et Valadon. Freneon writes an appreciative review in the May issue of La Revue Independante. (Thornley executed fifteen lithographs in colored ink after Degas. The full portfolio was published in April 1889.) "[FN 38]

The term -after- is by definition a: "word used in an artist's inscription to indicated that his or her picture or sculpture was modeled on the work of another artist"[FN 39] and is being used by the curator Gary Tinterow in the phrase "after works by Degas" and "after Degas" as an euphemism to mask what is nothing more than a reproduction. 

As noted earlier, in 2001 the Association of Art Museum Directors published their  2001 Professional Practices in Art Museum publication, that stated: "museums must clearly indicate, through the use of integral markings on the objects, as well as signs, labels, and advertising, that these items are reproductions - signatures, editions numbers, and/or foundry marks on sculpture must not appear on the reproduction."[FN 40]

So, are we to believe or suspend disbelief that the professionals in the museum and academic industry did not understand the moral, if not legal, requirement to disclose reproductions as reproductions till 2001, much less in 2013?

Remember, on page 660 of the Seventh Edition of Black's Law Dictionary, -forgery- is defined as: "The act of fraudulently making a false document or altering a real one to be used as if genuine."[FN 41]

Therefore, rhetorically, is the Foothills Art Center, in their April 6, 2013 to June 30, 2013  Edgar Degas, The Private Impressionist Works on Paper by the Artist and his Circle from the Collection of Robert Flynn Johnson  exhibition, offering, for the $10 price of admission and other monetary considerations, an "original product [that] is not actually available as advertised?"



"Edgar Degas and August[e] Clot (French, active 19th Century), 
Before the Race, ca. 1895, color lithograph, I
mage size in: 19 3/4 x 22 1/2", Frame size in: 30 x 33 x 1 [inches]"
Degaslistfinal.pdf  
ONE OF FOUR NON-DISCLOSED FORGERIES
FALSELY ATTRIBUTED AS LITHOGRAPHS

THE BAIT
On their website, in their Edgar Degas, The Private Impressionist Works on Paper by the Artist and His Circle exhibition checklist[FN 42], Landau Traveling Exhibitions misrepresents a non-disclosed lifetime chromist-made reproduction as: 

  • 28 OF 28 NON-DISCLOSED FORGERIES: "Edgar Degas and August[e] Clot (French, active 19th Century), Before the Race, ca. 1895, color lithograph, Image size in: 19 3/4 x 22 1/2", Frame size in: 30 x 33 x 1[inches]."

THE SWITCH
Auguste Clot is a chromist. A chromist is someone who reproduces by their hands and fingers another artist's work. Auguste Clot, by his  own hands and fingers, reproduced in color Edgar Degas' original Before the Race pastel, using one or more lithographic stones and subsequently printing each color to complete the finished reproductions. 

This factual perspective is confirmed in 1898, when the L'Estampe et l'affiche publisher Andre Mellerio wrote the La Lithographic originale en couleurs catalogue. In referencing this catalogue, the Museum of Modern Art, on their website, stated: "the remarkable Lemercier chromiste, Auguste Clot (1858–1936), who opened his own workshop c. 1895. As printer to Vollard and Pellet, Clot worked with the most famous artists of the lithography revival. He reproduced Degas’s pastel for Germinal in 1899 and printed final states for three of the artist’s After the bath prints, begun c. 1891."[FN 43]

Additionally, referencing this 1898 published La Lithographic originale en couleurs catalogue, the Museum of Modern Art, on their website, stated: "While praising Clot’s intelligence, Mellerio, a purist concerned to distinguish ‘original prints’ from chromolithographs, took him to task for helping artists too much. Dûchatel’s treatise made clear, however, that colour washes often needed professional retouching; even for an artist of Toulouse-Lautrec’s distinction, colours were drawn or corrected by his printers. Letters prove that many colour prints were partly (even entirely) drawn by Clot. He added colour to Paul Cézanne’s black keystone for the Large Bathers. Auguste Renoir’s Child with Biscuit, Bather, Children Playing Ball and Pinned Hat were evolved by Clot from pastels, as were Alfred Sisley’s By the River (Geese) and Redon’s Béatrice. Even in André Marty’s L’Estampe originale—a series greatly approved by Mellerio—Signac’s print was from a watercolour copied at Ancourt’s workshop, while Le Jeu by Puvis de Chavannes was a photolithographed drawing."[FN 44]

So, in other words, the chromist Auguste Clot reproduced, by his own hands and fingers, many artists' work, including Edgar Degas' and those subsequent chromist-made reproductions have ended up  being misrepresented, with or without intent by some collectors, industry professionals and museums, as authentic works of visual art ie., lithographs.

AAMD'S 2001 PROFESSIONAL PRACTICES
Once again, as noted earlier,  on page 31 in the Association of Art Museum Directors' published  2001 Professional Practices in Art Museum publication, it states: "museums must clearly indicate, through the use of integral markings on the objects, as well as signs, labels, and advertising, that these items are reproductions - signatures, editions numbers, and/or foundry marks on sculpture must not appear on the reproduction."[FN 45]

Remember, on page 660 of the Seventh Edition of Black's Law Dictionary, -forgery- is defined as: "The act of fraudulently making a false document or altering a real one to be used as if genuine."[FN 46]

Therefore, rhetorically, is the Foothills Art Center, in their April 6, 2013 to June 30, 2013  Edgar Degas, The Private Impressionist Works on Paper by the Artist and his Circle from the Collection of Robert Flynn Johnson  exhibition, offering for the $10 price of admission and other monetary considerations an "original product [that] is not actually available as advertised?"


Before the Race, Edgar Degas (French, 1834-1917), 
c. 1887-1889, pastel on tracing paper mounted to cardboard,
Sheet - h:57.50 w:65.40 cm (h:22 5/8 w:25 11/16 inches), 
Bequest of Leonard C. Hanna, Jr., Accession No.: 1958.27
AUTHENTIC LIFETIME PASTEL BY DEGAS

On the Cleveland Museum of  Art’s website, it gives the following description for the above authentic lifetime Edgar Degas created Before the Race pastel in their collection: "Two of Degas's most preferred subjects were ballet dancers and horse races. Both enabled the artist to investigate the phenomenon of movement. In this work, he placed four racehorses and their jockeys in a bold formation that creates a strong sense of depth."[FN 47]

                       
Above: Before the Race, Edgar Degas (French, 1834-1917), c. 1887-1889, pastel on tracing paper mounted to cardboard, Sheet - h:57.50 w:65.40 cm (h:22 5/8 w:25 11/16 inches), Bequest of Leonard C. Hanna, Jr., Accession No.: 1958.27 http://www.clevelandart.org/collections/collection%20online.aspx?type=refresh&searchoption=1&csearch=Artist%20/%20Maker:Edgar%20Degas%20%28French,%201834-1917%29  

Below: "Edgar Degas and August[e] Clot (French, active 19th Century), Before the Race, ca. 1895, color lithograph, Image size in: 19 3/4 x 22 1/2", Frame size in: 30 x 33 x 1 [inches]," Listing & Photo: Degaslistfinal.pdf, http://www.a-r-t.com/degas/images/

Any drawn image on stone, printed directly to paper, will print in reverse. Auguste Clot did not copy in reverse Degas' Before the Races onto the lithographic stones. Therefore the subsequent printing of this chromist-drawn images on lithographic stones printed as -mirror- chromist-made color reproductions of Edgar Degas' original Before the Races pastel.


CURATED BY LOUISE SIDDONS, PH.D
The Foothills Art Center's April 6, 2013 to June 30, 2013  Edgar Degas, The Private Impressionist Works on Paper by the Artist and his Circle from the Collection of Robert Flynn Johnson  exhibition, organized by Landau Traveling Exhibitions, Los Angeles, CA in association with Denenberg Fine Arts, West Hollywood, CA.," is curated by Louise Siddons, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Art History and Curator at Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK, who will provide the exhibition essay and detailed labels for the works. Ms. Siddons was previously Visiting Assistant Professor and Adjunct Curator at Michigan State University (2007-2009); and earlier, Assistant Curator at the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco."[FN 48]

On the Oklahoma State University's Faculty website, Louise Siddons is described, in part, as: an art historian specializing in American art and the visual culture of modernity [whose] research interests focus on the history of printmaking and photography, particularly in relation to representations of race, racialization, sexuality and the family."[FN 49]

So, of all individuals involved with this exhibition, Louise Siddons should have known that Edgar Degas was -history- ie., dead when the work, in question, was posthumous impressed.  In other words, Louise Siddons' research should have informed her, in case she was in doubt, that in the history of printmaking, no dead artist has ever created any new work.

The dead don't etch.

Yet, the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, where she worked as an assistant curator, is riddled with dozens upon dozens of non-disclosed posthumous [after 1863] reworked and altered forgeries falsely attributed as original works of visual art ie., etchings to dead Francisco Jose de Goya Lucientes [d 1828] with the titles "The Disasters of War," and "Los Proverbios." 

The dead are history.

COLLECTOR ROBERT FLYNN JOHNSON
Additionally,  the owner/collector for the vast majority of work, in the Foothills Art Center's April 6, 2013 to June 30, 2013  Edgar Degas, The Private Impressionist Works on Paper by the Artist and his Circle from the Collection of Robert Flynn Johnson  exhibition, organized by Landau Traveling Exhibitions, Los Angeles, CA in association with Denenberg Fine Arts, West Hollywood, CA., is Robert Flynn Johnson, "Curator Emeritus, Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco."[FN 50]

In the Landau Traveling Exhibition's published "Encounters with Monsieur Degas" essay by Robert Flynn Johnson, the author wrote: "In its purest form, however, collecting is a way of attempting to understand the work of art in question, the artist who fashioned it, and, in turn, oneself as the collector ponders what qualities the work possesses that make one want to own it."[FN 51]

Since Edgar Degas never fashioned during his lifetime anything in bronze, much less brass, never posthumously fashioned any etchings from his canceled plates and never fashioned his approval of posthumous chromist-made reproductions from his monotypes, would one have to ponder, at best, the connoisseurship of someone who would want to misrepresent them as original works of visual art?

The dead don't fashion.

THE ROYAL ACADEMY CURATOR ANN DUMAS
Furthermore, Ann Dumas, Curator of The Royal Academy, London, "a respected scholar of Impressionism, has curated  numerous exhibitions, including the forthcoming exhibition, Degas Dancers: Eye and Camera, presenting Degas’ dancers in the context of contemporary photography and film,"[FN 52] has provided a preface to the Foothills Art Center's April 6, 2013 to June 30, 2013  Edgar Degas, The Private Impressionist Works on Paper by the Artist and his Circle from the Collection of Robert Flynn Johnson  exhibition, organized by Landau Traveling Exhibitions, Los Angeles, CA in association with Denenberg Fine Arts, West Hollywood, CA.,.

In that preface titled "A Very Private Collection" by Ann Dumas, the author's first sentence is: "Robert Flynn Johnson is a true connoisseur."[FN 53]

Ann Dumas further wrote: "After his first acquisition, Johnson pursued his interest in Degas the printmaker, purchasing a substantial number of notable etchings and monotypes. The collection includes fine impressions of several of Degas’ most famous prints, such as his friends’ portraits, Édouard Manet and Mary Cassatt at the Louvre: The Paintings Gallery, and the important etching  At the Café des Ambassadeurs."[FN 54]

In Paul Duro and Michael Greenhalgh’s published Essential Art History, -connoisseurship- is defined as: “that of the art expert able to distinguish between the authentic and non-authentic, for example between an original and a copy.”[FN 55] 

What are we to make of the connoisseuship of a so-called "respected scholar" Ann Dumas who would promote non-disclosed posthumous impressions from cancelled plates as original works of visual art ie., etchings by a dead Edgar Degas?

The dead don't make impressions, much less etchings.

U.S. COPYRIGHT LAW
U.S. Copyright law § 101. Definitions, states: "A “work of visual art” is —  (1) a painting, drawing, print or sculpture, existing in a single copy, in a limited edition of 200 copies or fewer that are signed and consecutively numbered by the author, or, in the case of a sculpture, in multiple cast, carved, or fabricated sculptures of 200 or fewer that are consecutively numbered by the author and bear the signature or other identifying mark of the author."[FN 56]

The dead don't create "works of visual art," such as etchings, lithographs and sculpture, much less "sign and consecutively number" and /or apply their "signature."

Additionally, under U.S. Copyright Law under § 101. Definitions, states: "A work of visual art does not include —  (A)(i) any poster, map, globe, chart, technical drawing, diagram, model, applied art, motion picture or other audiovisual work, book, magazine, newspaper, periodical, data base, electronic information service, electronic publication, or similar publication."[FN 56]

Yet, self-servingly some collectors, museum professionals and others, in an attempt to legitimize their non-disclosed reproductions and posthumous forgeries, have made the argument that a published book from an author's manuscript is still their work, recorded music by an artist copied to CDs and the like is still their music and therefore a  reproduction, whether posthumously reproduced or not, of an artist's art is still their work.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Under U.S. Copyright Law, a “derivative work” is defined as: "a work based upon one or more preexisting works, such as a translation, musical arrangement, dramatization, fictionalization, motion picture version, sound recording, art reproduction, abridgment, condensation, or any other form in which a work may be recast, transformed, or adapted. A work consisting of editorial revisions, annotations, elaborations, or other modifications, which, as a whole, represent an original work of authorship, is a 'derivative work'."[FN 57]

Some have defended a collection of non-disclosed reproductions and forgeries with the argument that they are no different that an audio recordings of music.

Under U.S. Copyright Law a Phonorecord is defined as: "a material object in which sounds are fixed and from which the sounds can be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated, either directly or  with the aid of a machine or device. A phonorecord may include a cassette tape, an LP vinyl disk, a compact disk, or other means of fixing sounds. A phonorecord does not include those sounds accompanying a motion picture or other audiovisual work."[FN 58]

In other words, sounds reproduced to a material object, such as a CD would result in a derivative work a.k.a. reproduction.

Some have defended a collection of non-disclosed reproductions and forgeries with the argument that they are no different that the publication of a book.

Under U.S. Copyright Law, -publication is defined as: "Publication has a technical meaning in copyright law. According to the statute, “Publication is the distribution of copies or phonorecords of a work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending."[FN 59]

In other words, a manuscript published as books, the resulting copies would be considered derivative works a.k.a. reproductions.

Some have defended a collection of non-disclosed reproductions and forgeries with the argument that they are reproduced from the artist's work and therefore still his work.


Under U.S. Copyright Law, § 106A. -Rights of certain authors to attribution and integrity - states:  "(a) Rights of Attribution and Integrity. — Subject to section 107 and independent of the exclusive rights provided in section 106, the author of a work of visual art —  (1) shall have the right —  (A) to claim authorship of that work, and (3) The rights described in paragraphs (1) and (2) of subsection (a) shall not apply to any reproduction."[FN 60]

The rights of attribution shall not apply to any reproduction.

CRITERIA FOR DEACCESSIONING AND DISPOSAL
On page 22 of the Association of Art Museum Directos' published 2001 Professional Practices in Art Museum publication, under the subtitle -Criteria for Deaccessioning and Disposal-, it states: “The authenticity or attribution of the object lacks sufficient aesthetic merit or art historical importance to warrant retention. In disposing of or retaining a presumed forgery, the museum shall consider all ethical issues including the consequences of returning the object to the market.”[FN 61]

The Foothills Art Center's -mission- states it: "is to engage the mind and inspire the spirit – offering the world of art through exhibition and education. "[FN 62]

Remember, on page 660 of the Seventh Edition of Black's Law Dictionary, -forgery- is defined as: "The act of fraudulently making a false document or altering a real one to be used as if genuine."[FN 63]

Rhetorically, since reproductions, much less forgeries have no authenticity and cannot be attributed to a living artist much less a dead one, how can the Foothills Art Center fulfill its' mission when it fails to fully disclose the twenty-eight non-disclosed forgeries, falsely attributed to Edgar Degas, in their April 6, 2013 to June 30, 2013  Edgar Degas, The Private Impressionist Works on Paper by the Artist and his Circle from the Collection of Robert Flynn Johnson traveling exhibition?

LAW, ETHICS AND THE VISUAL ARTS
On page 816-817 of Kluwer Law International’s published 1998 Law, Ethics and the Visual Arts, Third Edition by John Henry Merryman and Albert E. Elsen wrote about “Counterfeit Art.”[FN 64]

Under the subtitle “Truth,” the authors wrote: “The most serious harm that good counterfeits do is to confuse and misdirect the search for valid learning. The counterfeit objects falsifies history and misdirects inquiry.”[FN 65]

Additionally, under the subtitle “Resource Allocation,” the authors wrote: “Museum and art historical resources are always limited. What gets acquired, displayed, conserved and studied is the result of a continuous process of triage, in which some objects can be favoured only at the expenses of others. Counterfeit objects distort the process.”[FN 66]

Finally, under the subtitle “Fraud,” the authors wrote: “There remains the most obvious harm of all: counterfeit cultural objects are instruments of fraud. Most are created in order to deceive and defraud, but even “innocent” counterfeits can, and often will, be so used. The same considerations of justice and social order that make deliberate fraud of others kinds criminal apply equally to fraud through the medium of counterfeit art...”[FN 67]

CONCLUSION
What needs to be accomplished is the full and honest disclosure by all museums, auction houses, academia, galleries and art dealers. If the Foothills Art Center's April 6, 2013 to June 30, 2013  Edgar Degas, The Private Impressionist Works on Paper by the Artist and his Circle from the Collection of Robert Flynn Johnson  exhibition, organized by Landau Traveling Exhibitions, Los Angeles, CA in association with Denenberg Fine Arts, West Hollywood, CA., will give full and honest disclosure to all lifetime reproductions as reproductions and posthumous impressions as posthumous impressions rather than misleadingly as original works of visual art ie., etchings and lithographs that can only be created by hand by the artist and posthumous sculptural forgeries as forgeries, it would allow consumer the potential to give informed consent on whether to attend the exhibition, much less pay the $10 price of admission, to view reproductions, posthumous impressions and posthumous forgeries, along with the original works of visual art.

The reputations and legacy of living and past artists, present and future consumers ie. the art-buying public deserve the re-establishment of the obvious; that the living presence and participation of the artist  to once again be required, as it always should have been, to create the piece of art attributable to the artist if indeed it is attributed to them, much less purported to have been signed by them.


Caveat Emptor!   




FOOTNOTES:
1. Copyright © 1999, By West Group, ISBN 0-314-22864-0


3. Copyright © 1999, By West Group, ISBN 0-314-22864-0

4.Art Journal © 1995 College Art Association, http://www.jstor.org/pss/777513

5. © 1998 National Gallery of Art ISBN 0-300-07517-0

6. Copyright © 2000 by High Museum of Art, ISBN 0-8478-2340-7

7. www.nga.gov/education/degas-11.htm

8. © 2010 ISBN 978-0-691-14897-7, National Gallery of Art, Washington, www.nga.gov

9.W. W. Norton & Company (October 2001), ISBN-10: 039332088X, ISBN-13: 978-0393320886

10. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urban_legend

11. Jean Sutherland Boggs, Degas, © Editions de la Reunion des Musees Naitonaux, Paris, 1988,  © National Gallery of Canada for the Corporation of the National Museums of Canada, 1988, © The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1988 ISBN 0-87099-519-7

12. Ibid

13. Ibid


15. Copyright © 1999, By West Group, ISBN 0-314-22864-0 

16. Degaslistfinal.pdf

11 Copyright © 1980 by Random House, Inc., ISBN 0=394-43600-8 thumb-indexed ed.

17. http://www.spaightwoodgalleries.com/Pages/Degas.html

18. http://www.pasqualeart.com/degas/index.html

19. http://www.jdsmithfineart.com/degas_laundress_main.html
J D Smith Fine Art, Happy Valley, OR, USA, 97086

20. © 1965 by Print Council of America, Library of Congress, Catalog Card Number: 65-24325, Seventh Printing, March, 1971
  • What is a cancelled plate? Why do dealers sometimes sell etchings and lithographs printed from cancelled plates?
  • When an artist finishes printing the number of impressions they want of a work (the total edition size), they usually “cancel” the plate. To cancel the plate, they typically scribe noticeable crosshatch or “X” lines across the plate. These lines cross the image and will show up on any later impressions made from the plate. The lines indicate that any later impressions were not part of the original edition. Cancelling a plate is the best way an artist has to protect the value of the impressions in the official edition.
  •  
  • So then ... impressions from cancelled plates are bad, right?
  • The answer varies. Usually impressions from cancelled plates are done by a dealer or printer to make additional money from a popular artist’s work. These later impressions are usually not the desire of the artist. They are valued less than impressions from the official edition.
  • But they are not always “bad” or without value. Artists like Degas often produced very few impressions of a work before cancelling the plate. Later in life he gave about 20 cancelled plates to his dealer Ambroise Vollard for Vollard to publish an extended edition. Thus, the Vollard edition of Degas’ etchings from cancelled plates were the artist’s intent ... hence they are good. Since impressions of Degas’ prints from the pre-cancelled state of the plate are more rare, and therefore much more expensive, collectors often purchase impressions from the cancelled plates. For many of these Degas etchings, the cancellation marks are not very obtrusive.

22. Records in the Smithsonian Institution Research Information System documents the Frank Perls Gallery dates "from its opening in 1939 until its closure in 1981," Smithsonian Institution Research Information System
  • Title: The Laundresses
  • Medium: Original Etching and aquatint , Fourth state,1879/80
  • Size: Plate size : 118 x 160 mms. Paper size 420 x 280 mms
  • Reference: Reed & Shapeiro Edgar (Degas, the Painter as printmaker) No 48, page 149, Delteil 37 ; Adhemar 32
  • Condition: In good condition with some creasing on the outer right hand side margins not affecting the image. Framed
  • 1) A later striking from the cancelled plate showing cancellation marks 2)The subject matter, although unique in the artists oeuvre, does relate to other etchings from this period in the examination of space. The etching was made on a daguerreotype plate. The fourth state exhibits considerable scraping of the image, especially on the seated laundress, the chair, cat, stovepipe and wall to the left of the doorway. Only 8 impressions are known of this state. 3)Our piece as mentioned before comes from a cancelled plate. There were later impressions from cancelled plates made of some of this artists prints by the famous art publisher Ambroise Vollard but our piece is not one of those series. Vollard did include this print in the oeuvre in his edition of 120 on Japan Paper made in 1919/20 measuring 323 x 250 mms. His impressions are noted for being rather pale. For a discussion on those pieces see "Una Johnson 'Ambroise Vollard; Prints, books, bronzes' The Museum of Modern Art, New York, page 131, no 28. Our piece was made by Frank Perls Gallery of 350 N Camden Drive, Beverley Hills, California and was one of 26 etchings made in a limited edition at that time. These were printed by Lacouriere in Paris on Vieux Japan paper. The pieces from the small edition (quantity unstipulated) were made with the printers blindstamp but a number of additional printers proofs were made, of which ours is an example, without this blindstamp. The piece must be a rarity since it is hardly ever seen. Details of the edition were published in a scarce leaflet of which we have a copy entitled "Twenty six original copperplates engraved by Degas" . A copy of this work, if required, will be sold with the etching. In the forward Frank Perls states that the copper plates "are exhibited here for the first time. They were acquired by me recently from a friend of the Degas-Fevre family". Marguerite De Gas Fevre was the artists younger sister who he etched in 1860/62 (Delteil 17, Reed & Shapeiro 14 - included in the group).
  • Price £: 900
24. Copyright © 1991 by Bena Mayer, ISBN 0-06-461012-8 (pbk.)


26. page 7, Jack Harold Upton Brown, A Guide to Collecting Fine Prints



29. Degaslistfinal.pdf

30. http://www.a-r-t.com/degas/images/
  • 49      Edgar Degas           1934     Color engraving and aquatint after monotype by Edgar Degas by Maurice Potin (French 1874-?) commissioned by Vollard
  • 50     Edgar Degas           1934     Color engraving and aquatint after monotype by Edgar Degas by Maurice Potin (French 1874-?) commissioned by Vollard
  • 51     Edgar Degas           1934     Color engraving and aquatint after monotype by Edgar Degas by Maurice Potin (French 1874-?) commissioned by Vollard
  • 52     Edgar Degas           1934     Color engraving and aquatint after monotype by Edgar Degas by Maurice Potin (French 1874-?) commissioned by Vollard
  • 53     Edgar Degas           1934     Color engraving and aquatint after monotype by Edgar Degas by Maurice Potin (French 1874-?) commissioned by Vollard
  • 54     Edgar Degas           1934     Color engraving and aquatint after monotype by Edgar Degas by Maurice Potin (French 1874-?) commissioned by Vollard
  • 55     Edgar Degas           1934     Color engraving and aquatint after monotype by Edgar Degas by Maurice Potin (French 1874-?) commissioned by Vollard
  • 56     Edgar Degas           1934     Color engraving and aquatint after monotype by Edgar Degas by Maurice Potin (French 1874-?) commissioned by Vollard
  • 57     Edgar Degas            1935     Color engraving and aquatint after monotype by Edgar Degas by Maurice Potin (French 1874-?) commissioned by Vollard
  • 58     Edgar Degas            1935     Color engraving and aquatint after monotype by Edgar Degas by Maurice Potin (French 1874-?) commissioned by Vollard
  • 59     Edgar Degas            1935     Color engraving and aquatint after monotype by Edgar Degas by Maurice Potin (French 1874-?) commissioned by Vollard
  • 60     Edgar Degas            1935     Color engraving and aquatint after monotype by Edgar Degas by Maurice Potin (French 1874-?) commissioned by Vollard
  • 61     Edgar Degas            1935     Color engraving and aquatint after monotype by Edgar Degas by Maurice Potin (French 1874-?) commissioned by Vollard
  • 62     Edgar Degas            1935     Color engraving and aquatint after monotype by Edgar Degas by Maurice Potin (French 1874-?) commissioned by Vollard
  • 63     Edgar Degas            1935     Color engraving and aquatint after monotype by Edgar Degas by Maurice Potin (French 1874-?) commissioned by Vollard
  • 64     Edgar Degas            1935     Color engraving and aquatint after monotype by Edgar Degas by Maurice Potin (French 1874-?) commissioned by Vollard

31. Bena Mayer, HarperCollins Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques (Second Edition) Copyright © 1969, 1991, ISBN 0-06-461012-8 (pbk.)

32. Ibid


34. Published in 2001 by the Association of Art Museum Directors, 41 East 65th Street, New York, New York 10021, ISBN 1-880974-02-9

35. Copyright © 1999, By West Group, ISBN 0-314-22864-0

36. Degaslistfinal.pdf

37. Jean Sutherland Boggs, Degas, © Editions de la Reunion des Musees Naitonaux, Paris, 1988,  © National Gallery of Canada for the Corporation of the National Museums of Canada, 1988, © The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1988 ISBN 0-87099-519-7

38.  Ibid

39.  Copyright © 1991 by Bena Mayer, ISBN 0-06-461012-8 (pbk.)

40. Published in 2001 by the Association of Art Museum Directors, 41 East 65th Street, New York, New York 10021, ISBN 1-880974-02-9

41. Copyright © 1999, By West Group, ISBN 0-314-22864-0

42. Degaslistfinal.pdf


44. Ibid

45. Published in 2001 by the Association of Art Museum Directors, 41 East 65th Street, New York, New York 10021, ISBN 1-880974-02-9

46. Copyright © 1999, By West Group, ISBN 0-314-22864-0


48.  http://www.a-r-t.com/degas/

49. http://art.okstate.edu/faculty/siddons.php

50. http://www.a-r-t.com/degas/

51. Landau Traveling Exhibition’s degas.pdf

52. http://www.a-r-t.com/degas/

53. Landau Traveling Exhibition’s degas.pdf

54. Ibid

55. Publisher: Bloomsbury Pub Ltd (July 1995), ISBN-10: 0747515859, ISBN-13: 978-0747515852
Publication Date: July 1995
This guide to the history of Western art combines a comprehensive essay, outlining the development of the discipline and its major movements, with more than 300 detailed entries, organized alphabetically from Abstract Expressionism to Zeitgeist, on the movements, terminology, writers, bibliography and philosophy significant to the development of art history. Extensive bibliographical information and cross-references are included.
http://www.amazon.com/Essential-Art-History-Paul-Duro/dp/0747515859/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1329636465&sr=1-1-fkmr0



63. Copyright © 1999, By West Group, ISBN 0-314-22864-0

64. © Kluwer Law International 1998, ISBN 90-411-0697-9

65. Ibid

66. Ibid

67. Ibid

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