Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Deception, Are These Really Rodins or Non-disclosed Posthumous Second-generation or more removed Forgeries with Counterfeit "A Rodin" Signatures in Bogus Editions?

Gruppo Mondiale Est., Gary Snell, and an ever growing -cast- of others, who have millions upon millions or more reasons to want the museum admission paying public, wealthy collectors, corporate sponsors, judicial and government officials -not- to understand, much less 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.

AUGUSTE RODIN (1840 -1917), Iris, Messenger of the Gods, Circa 1895, Bronze, H. 82.7 cm ; W. 69 cm ; D. 63 cm, S.1068, Cast made Fonderie Alexis Rudier (?) before 1916.
LIFETIME CAST [PHOTO OF PUBLIC DOMAIN WORK]


UPDATED: February 11, 2014 with Footnotes [Originally written November 1, 2001]

NOTE: Footnotes are enclosed as: [FN ]

"Bridgeman Art Library v. Corel Corp., 36 F. Supp. 2d 191 (S.D.N.Y. 1999), was a decision by the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, which ruled that exact photographic copies of public domain of images could not be protected by copyright in the United States because the copies lack originality."[FN 1]

Additionally, under U.S. Copyright Law "Section 107 contains a list of the various purposes for which the reproduction of a particular work may be considered fair, such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Section 107 also sets out four factors to be considered in determining whether or not a particular use is fair. [one of which is:] The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes."[FN 2]
[mine]



INTRODUCTION

Auguste Rodin died in 1917. 

For the last 70 odd years after Auguste Rodin's death in 1917, the Musee Rodin owned an exclusive "right of reproduction to objects given by him,"[FN 3]  which in part and/or whole, fell into the public domain in the late 1980's. Yet, despite Auguste Rodin's 1916 Will mandating the "right of reproduction to objects given by him" upon his death to the State of France, the Musee Rodin has admitted at one time on their website [subsequently removed] and to this scholar [in written correspondence] to violating Auguste Rodin Will by using posthumously reproduced plasters for casting in bronze, rather than his original lifetime plasters, resulting in 2nd-generation-removed bronze forgeries, not reproductions, much less sculptures. The Musee Rodin's fraud is further compounded by their posthumous inscription of non-disclosed counterfeit "A Rodin" signatures and bogus edition numbers to these non-disclosed posthumous 2nd-generation-removed bronze forgeries.

Auguste Rodin died in 1917. The dead don't posthumously sign, much less edition.

To add insult to injury, these non-disclosed posthumous second-generation-removed bronze forgeries with counterfeit "A. Rodin" signatures in bogus editions have been misrepresented by the Musee Rodin, museums and collectors as original works of visual art ie., sculptures, falsely attributed to Auguste Rodin, creating a false market for huge profiteering through admission fees, city-state-federal grants, corporate sponsorship, outright sales and tax write-offs, while deceptively leading the public that they were in the presence of an original work of art ie., sculpture, much less something Auguste Rodin created, much less approved.

Auguste Rodin died in 1917. The dead don't sculpt.

So, when Georges Rudier foundry, that cast non-disclosed posthumous second-generation-removed bronze forgeries for the Musee Rodin from 1952 to the late 1980's, went bankrupt, the Gruppo Mondiale and its director Gary Snell snapped up the opportunity to acquire this bankrupt foundry with its' collection of posthumous plaster reproductions, authorized by the Musee Rodin, from Auguste Rodin's original lifetime plasters.

So, instead of a corrupt Musee Rodin having exclusive rights to flood the marketplace with the sale of non-disclosed second-generation-removed bronze forgeries with applied counterfeit "A Rodin" signatures falsely attributed as original works of visual ie., sculpture to a dead Auguste Rodin, others like Gruppo Mondiale could now participate and profit almost indistinguishably from the Musee Rodin's posthumous collection by using the same posthumous plasters, moulds and the like for casting in bronze.

GRUPPO MONDIALE AND PINOCCHIO
Unfortunately, Gruppo Mondiale is very much like The Coachman in the old 1940 Disney classic movie Pinocchio. As you may know, the movie is the story of a wooden puppet named Pinocchio who desperately wants to become a real little boy. In his journey to become human, Pinocchio comes across The Coachman’s hench men Honest John and Gideon who lure him to Pleasure Island to eat whatever he wishes and create havoc all day when the true and sinster purpose is to turn wayward boys into donkeys for sale.[FN 4]

GRUPPO MONDIALE EST AND MACLAREN ART CENTRE TO SPLIT $135 MILLION
In the Globe and Mail's published March 10, 2004 "Gallery faces closure over bronzes" article by James Adams, The reporter wrote: "A multimillion-dollar deal to bring hundreds of bronze sculptures attributed to the French master Auguste Rodin to a small Ontario art gallery has collapsed, with the result that the gallery may be forced to close its doors as early as next month. The MacLaren Art Centre in Barrie, Ont., a city of about 120,000 people, 90 kilometres north of Toronto, was expecting to take possession last year of 510 Rodin bronzes, purportedly worth more than $135-million, from an Italian-based art company, Gruppo Mondiale. Some of these bronzes would then have been sold to collectors and institutions, with Gruppo and the MacLaren sharing in the proceeds; others would have stayed in Barrie as a linchpin to something called ArtCity, an ambitious project, first conceived in the mid-eighties, to place sculpture by Canadian and international artists in and around Barrie, thereby turning the locale into a tourist destination the equal of Stratford and Niagara-on-the-Lake."[FN 5]

510 RODINS NEVER DELIVERED BY GRUPPO MONDIALE EST
Additionally, the James Adams wrote: "While the MacLaren claims to have clear title to the bronzes, all supposedly cast from 1999 onwards, it has yet to see the 10 editions made from each of the 51 Rodins, including such classics as Eternal Spring and The Age of Bronze. Negotiations between the MacLaren and Gruppo Mondiale to get the bronzes to Barrie have been ongoing for more than two years, but reached an impasse recently. Indeed, there are concerns if all 510 bronzes actually exist as bronzing experts say it takes anywhere from 31⁄2 months to six months to make one finished, professionally acceptable bronze, depending on the size and complexity of the object being cast."[FN 6]

MACLAREN ART CENTRE GOES BANKRUPT
In Globe and Mail's published June 14, 2005 "Deal lacked proper checks, report says" article by James Adams, the reporter wrote: "The 16-page report, more than a year in the making, was ordered by Barrie's city council last April. Councillors in the city, with a population of about 130,000, created the six-member Rodin Transaction Examination Committee upon learning that the MacLaren Art Centre was facing a deficit of at least $1-million and unable to make any payments on the $2.7-million it owed the city for an expansion and renovation of its space."[FN 7]

ROYAL ONTARIO MUSEUM GAINS $200,000 IN UNPAID BILLS
As for the Royal Ontario Museum, their initial financial stake that turned into a loss was addressed in a Globe and Mail published January 18, 2003 "Inside the hidden kingdom" article by Sarah Milroy, the reporter wrote: " last year's Rodin fiasco (which ended up costing the ROM more than $200,000 in unpaid bills when the MacLaren Art Centre's proposed world tour of the exhibit found no other takers)."[FN 8]

$40 MILLION DONATION TAX WRITEOFF
In the Globe and Mail's published November 5, 2006 "Canadian collectors cry foul on report" article by James Adams, the reporter wrote: "At stake is the fate of versions of some of the world's most famous sculptures, among them three plaster renditions of The Kiss, two of The Thinker and three of the Age of Bronze, part of a collection that the 10 businessmen bought from an Italian dealer in 2000. By donating their 28 plasters to the MacLaren, a registered Canadian charity, they would have been able to claim their full market value as a break against taxable income. At one time, the MacLaren valued the entire Rodin project at more than $40-million."[FN 9]

WHO ARE THESE BUSINESSMEN?
Additionally, in this Globe and Mail published article, the reporter James Adams names those ten businessmen. They are: 1) Rolling Stones' tour manager Michael Cohl, 2) broadcasting billionaire Allan Slaight, 3) Toronto investment banker Robert Foster, 4) pollster Martin Goldfarb, 5) developers Garnet Watchorn and 6) Graham Goodchild, 7) Standard Broadcasting CFO David Coriat, 8) venture capitalist Anthony Lloyd, 9) Mad Catz Interactive founder Pat Brigham and 10) the estate of the late John M. S. Lecky, Calgary-based founder of Canada 3000 airlines.[FN 10]

GRUPPO MONDIALE EST. PARTNERS WITH RODIN INTERNATIONAL
Rodin International L.C., located at 201 Bird Road in Coral Gables, Florida, began selling Gruppo Mondiale Est.'s so-called Rodins sometime after 2002. On their website, it stated: "These are only three examples of major sculptors with posthumous bronzes, but the list could be continued endlessly. The essence of this is that posthumous casts are an essential part of our understanding of the artist’s lifetime work. They complete the image and character of the artist, and sometimes formulate it altogether. These works are significant additions to their respective collections and are visited by millions of visitors annually. At recent auctions some posthumous bronzes have actually sold at much higher prices than lifetime casts."[FN 11]

GRUPPO MONDIALE EST SUES RODIN INTERNATIONAL LC
On February 8, 2007, Gruppo Mondiale Est. filed suit, in the Florida Southern District Court before William M. Hoeveler, demanding $6 million for trademark infringement against Rodin International LC among others.[FN 12]

GRUPPO MONDIALE EST NOW PARTNERS WITH TWENTY 21 COLLECTIONS
Twenty 21 Collections, located at 309 East Paces Ferry Road N.E., Suite 110 in Atlanta, Georgia, began selling Gruppo Mondiale Est.'s so-called Rodins sometime after 2007. On their website, it states: "We showcase the Masters Edition of Auguste Rodin posthumous original bronzes. The exquisite Masters Edition of first generation bronzes is cast from critically evaluated and authenticated original plasters and molds executed by Auguste Rodin. The bronzes are foundered in the traditional method using original patina and metallurgical information. Provenance is traced to Auguste Rodin, Alexis Rudier, George and Eugene Rudier and the Rudier Foundry."[FN 13]


TWENTY 21 COLLECTIONS PARTNERS WITH DRAGON FINE ARTS
Dragon Fine Arts, located at 719 Greeley Drive in Nashville, Tennessee, is promoting on their website, the following: "September 10-13: Public Exhibition, Rodin at Bella Luce, Dragon Fine Arts, in association with Twenty 21 Collections/Gallery Rodin, and Jimmy Franks’ Bella Luce, introduces an exquisite collection of limited edition posthumous original bronzes by Auguste Rodin, offering the private collector a rare opportunity of ownership of this great master’s art. 24 acclaimed artists and sculptors will be included in this exhibition and sale., Open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., $15 admission, Proceeds will benefit New Hope Academy.”[FN 14]

This Bella Luce estate is located at 414 Lake Valley Drive in Franklin, Tennessee.

GRUPPO MONDIALE EST's COLLECTION OF BRONZES CHECKLIST
On Gruppo Mondiale Est's website, the titles and dimensions given in their "Auguste Rodin Collection of Bronzes"[FN 15] checklist is exactly the same (except for the listed dates predating Rodin's death) as the Dragon Fine Art's "Master Collection Posthumous Original Bronzes"[FN 16] checklist for their partner Twenty 21 Collections' upcoming "Rodin at Bella Luce" exhibit and sale on September 10-13, 2009 at the Bella Luce estate in Franklin, Tennessee.






IRIS (SMALL), Plaster* - Height cm. 39 H (44 long = 17 3/8 ")
http://www.rodin-art.com/












IRIS (SMALL), Bronze - Height cm. 38,5 H (43 long = 16 7/8 ")
http://www.rodin-art.com/
RIGHT-HANDED PLASTER, LEFT-HANDED BRONZE

Rhetorically speaking, does Gruppo Mondiale Est.'s right hand know what its' left hand is doing?

MASTER COLLECTION POSTHUMOUS ORIGINAL BRONZES 
Below is copy of the price list for the so-called "Master Collection Posthumous Original Bronzes" received from Dragon Fine Art's representative Carol Lochidge.

1. The Great Thinker (1903) 183 c.m. $655,000.00
2. The Thinker (1880) medium, 73 c.m. $228,000.00
3. The Hand of the Great Thinker (1903) 38 c.m. $13,000.00 in gallery
4. The Hand of the Thinker (1880) 15 c.m. $6,500.00
5. The Age of Bronze (1876) large, 180 c.m. $232,000.00 in gallery
6. The Age of Bronze (1898) medium, 103 c.m. $110,000.00
7. The Age of Bronze (1898) Small, 63 c.m. $55,000.00
8. Bust Age of Bronze (1898) 28 c.m. $26,500.00
9. Bust Age of Bronze (1989) large, 53 c.m. $56,000.00
10. The Walking Man (1877) 85 c.m. $82,000.00 in gallery
11. Head of St John the Baptist (1879) 37 c.m. $48,000.00
12. Head of Eustache de St. Pierre (1885) 34.5 c.m. $35,500.00 in gallery
13. Eternal Spring (1884) 65 c.m. $98,500.00
14. Eve (1883) medium 74 c.m. $82,000.00
15. Torso Morhardt (1890s) 39 c.m. $28,000.00
16. Nijinsky (1912) 31 c.m. $14,000.00
17. Fallen Caryatid With Her Stone (1881-82) 43 c.m. $46,500.00
18. Feminine Torso (1880) 29 c.m. $6,500.00 in gallery
19. The Danaid (1886) 13 c.m.h x23 c.m. L $18,000.00
20. Eve (1881) Large 170.5 c.m. $232,000.00
21. Iris, Messenger of the Gods (1891) 93 c.m. $145,000.00
22. The Kiss (1885) 85.5 c.m. $232,000.00 sold, avail from foundry
23. Study for Walking Man (1877) 53 c.m. $53,500.00
24. Hand of Rodin holding Female Form (1917) 22 c.m. $16,000.00
25. Man With the Broken Nose (1862-63) 25.1 c.m. $19,500.00 in gallery
26. Balzac in Dominican Robe (1893) 106 c.m. $110,000.00 in gallery
27. Balzac Nude (1892) 74.5 c.m. $89,000.00
28. Dance Movement A (1910-11) 64.5 c.m. $48,500.00
29. Dance Movement B (1910-11) 33 c.m. $24,500.00 in gallery
30. Dance Movement D (1910-11) 32 c.m. $24,500.00 in gallery
31. Dance Movement E (1910-11) 35 c.m. $24,500.00 in gallery
32. Torso of Adele (1881-82) 44 c.m. $29,000.00
33. Hand of Adam (1880) 32 c.m. $26,000.00
34. Left Hand of Pierre Wiessant (1886) 33 c.m. $20,500.00
35. Head of Balzac (1896) 17.5 c.m. $16,500.00 in gallery
36. Nijinsky (1912) small 17 c.m. $11,000.00 in gallery
37. Eve (1884) medium, round base 68 c.m. $62,500.00
38. Study for Pierre Wiessant (1885-86) 62.5 c.m. $54,000.00 in gallery
39. Hand of God (1897-1900) 13 c.m. $13,000.00
40. Children with Lizard (1885) 35 c.m. $46,500.00
41. Burgher Andrieu d’Andres (1900) 43 c.m. $65,500.00
42. The Shade (1880) 94 c.m. $109,000.00 sold, avail from foundry
43. Crouching Woman (1880-82) 31 c.m. $33,500.00
44. Right Hand of Pierre Wiessant (1885-86) 32 c.m. $19,500.00
45. Study of Hand (1885) 25 c.m. $13,500.00
46. Bust of Balzac (1892) 19.5 c.m. $23,500.00 in gallery
47. Iris Messenger of the Gods (1891) 38.5 c.m. $49,000.00 in gallery
48. Bust of Jean D`Aire (1886) 45 c.m. $54,000.00 in gallery
49. The Kiss (1885-03) small 25 c.m. $46,500.00
50. The Kiss (1885-98) medium, 60.5 c.m. $135,000.00
51. The Danaid (1885-86) Large 30c.m. high $98,500.00
52. The Hand of God (1902-3) 112 c.m. $1,085,000.00 in gallery
53. The Athlete (1901) 41 c.m. $84,000.00
54. Fugit Amor (1882-83) 37 c.m. $59,500.00
55. Kneeling Fauness (1884) 50 c.m. $69,000.00
56. St John the Baptist Preaching (1878) 54 c.m. $68,000.00
57. The Kiss 16 “ (1885-8) 40 c.m. $85.500.00


TWENTY 21 COLLECTION's CURATOR ERIN WERTENBERGER
In a September 4, 2009 email from the Twenty 21 Collections' owner and curator Erin Wertenberger of the upcoming Rodin at Bella Luce exhibit and sale, the curator wrote the following: "The collection of posthumous original bronzes by Auguste Rodin is the Masters Edition Collection. There are currently 57 bronzes cast from original plasters and molds executed by Rodin and through the Rudier Foundry, his principle foundry. The Masters Edition has established their own private foundry and utilizes the original metallurgy and patina notes as defined by Rodin. Finishes are as specific to the original finishes as is possible to achieve. The foundry is located in Italy so that the original, timeless casting methods of Rodin's time could be used. These bronzes are editioned and after the casting has been accomplished all of the plasters and molds are being placed in public institutions, and will never be used again for any future bronzes."[FN 17]

Aside the sea of -red flags- like not mentioning Gruppo Mondiale Est. involvement, much less ownership of these posthumous forgeries, should the public suspend disbelief or just believe these plasters and/or molds, unless destroyed, "will never be used again for any future bronzes."

These vague and ambiguous promises is what the MacLaren Art Centre was lead to believe and look where that got them, for all intents and purposes: -bankrupt-.

In other words, when it comes to these so-called "editions," the only thing limited is the lack of transparency to these non-disclosed forgeries, with or without intent, by all the principals involved in this multi-multi-million dollar fraud.





















"Organized by the MacLaren Art Centre of Barrie, Ontario, From Plaster to Bronze: The Sculpture of Auguste Rodin provides fresh insight into Rodin's unique working techniques, notably his translation of foundry plasters into cast bronze sculptures, and the unusual manner in which he continuously deconstructed, reshaped and refined his plasters."
http://www.rom.on.ca/rodin/intro.html

DECEPTION

"Organized by the MacLaren Art Centre of Barrie, Ontario, From Plaster to Bronze: The Sculpture of Auguste Rodin provides fresh insight into Rodin's unique working techniques, notably his translation of foundry plasters into cast bronze sculptures, and the unusual manner in which he continuously deconstructed, reshaped and refined his plasters."[FN 18]


The MacLaren Art Centre organized September 20 to December 23, 2001 From Plaster to Bronze: The Sculpture of Auguste Rodin exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum is introduced on their website as: “In the first stop of a major international tour, this revealing exhibit brings together almost 70 sculptures by Auguste Rodin, one of the seminal figures in modern art.”[FN 19]

These "almost 70 sculptures," is actually 66 total, with the museum's checklist descriptions given as: 18 “Auguste Rodin bronzes” and 48 “Auguste Rodin plasters.”

As for the 18 so-called "Auguste Rodin bronzes," 17 are non-disclosed forgeries, posthumously forged between 1962 and 2000 with counterfeit “A Rodin” signatures applied.

On page 661 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 geniune."[FN 20]

Auguste Rodin died in 1917. The dead don't sculpt.

The Mackenzie Art Gallery's “bronze” titled Eternal Spring (1916) is potentially the only attributable lifetime cast to Auguste Rodin in this exhibition.

Additionally, the Musee Rodin admits on their website to the posthumous practice of sending plaster forgeries of Auguste Rodin's original plasters for casting in bronze to the foundries. Thus not only violating Auguste Rodin's 1916 Will but making the subsequent posthumously cast bronzes by the Musee Rodin second-generation-removed forgeries in bronze.

Therefore, thirty-seven of the 48 “Auguste Rodin plasters" listed in this exhibition, as “foundry plasters”(28) and as “studio or foundry plasters”(9) with so-called “A Rodin” signatures applied, acquired from foundries that cast for the Musee Rodin would be posthumous forgeries.

The dead don't sign.

As for the other eleven "studio cast" plasters in this exhibition, are we to suspend disbelief or just believe, that despite the MacLaren Art Centre, Royal Ontario Museum and Gruppo Mondiale Est. misrepresenting at least 55 plaster and bronze forgeries as "sculptures by Auguste Rodin," that these -studio casts- are authentic lifetime plasters realized by Auguste Rodin?

So, what is at stake?

This monograph documents these contentious issues of authenticity and avarice by the principals Gruppo Mondiale Est., MacLaren Art Centre, Royal Ontario Museum and wealthy investors.

MACLAREN ART CENTRE'S EXHIBITION CHECKLIST SUMMARY

(Summarized directly from the MacLaren Art Centre’s published checklist for "Foundry Casts," "Studio or Foundry Casts," "Posthumous Casts" and "Lifetime Casts" have numbering mine and MacLaren Art Center's numbering enclosed with ( ), with their given title and listed date.)

FOUNDRY CASTS {plaster}
1. (#1) The Thinker (medium) - 1880
2. (#3) The Kiss (medium) - 1903
3. (#7) Man with a Broken Nose - 1872
4. (#8) The Age of Bronze (small) - 1898
5. (#9) The Kiss (small) - 1903
6. (#10) Bust of Balzac (reduction) - 1898
7. (#17) Fallen Caryatid Carrying Her Stone - 1880-82
8. (#19) Study for Eustache - 1886
9. (#21) Bust of Burgher Jean D’Aire - 1898
10. (#22) Ninjinsky (small) - 1912
11. (#23) Daniad - 1888
12. (#25) Iris, Messenger of the Gods (small) - 1891
13. (#28) Fugit Amor - 1900
14. (#29) Torso of Adele - 1881
15. (#31) Feminine Torso - 1880
16. (#42) The Hand of Adam - 1881
17. (#43) The Hand of God - 1898
18. (#46) Balzac (Nude) - 1892
19. (#48) Balzac in a Monk’s Robe - 1893
20. (#52) The Kiss - 1885
21. (#53) Dance Movement “A” - 1910-1911
22. (#54) Dance Movement “B” - 1910-1911
23. (#55) Dance Movement “C” - 1910-1911
24. (#56) Dance Movement “D” - 1910-1911
25. (#61) Nijinsky - 1912
26. (#63) Right Hand of Pierre Wiessant - 1886
27. (#64) Left Hand of Pierre Wiessant - 1886
28. (#67) The Thinker (great) - 1903

STUDIO OR FOUNDRY CASTS {plaster}
1. (#13) Eve (large) - 1881
2. (#14) Age of Bronze (large) - 1876
3. (#15) Bust Age of Bronze (large) - 1898
4. (#18) Eve (second version) (medium) - 1883
5. (#20) Head of Eustache Saint Pierre - 1886
6. (#26) Andrieu d’Andres (reduction) - 1898
7. (#32) Iris, Messenger of the Gods - 1891
8. (#33) Crouching Woman - 1881
9. (#37) Bust of The Age of Bronze (small) - 1898

STUDIO CASTS {plaster}
1 (#4) Idyll of Ixelles - 1874-1876
2. (#11) Hand of Rodin Holding Torso - 1917
3. (#16) Torso Morhardt (large) - 1891
4. (#24) Study of Danaid - 1886
5. (#27) The Shade (First Version) - 1881
6. (#30) Torso Walking Man - 1878
7. (#36) The Age of Bronze (medium) - 1898
8. (#41) Head of St. John the Baptist - 1879
9. (#45) Head of Balzac - 1879
10. (#50) Eternal Spring 1884
11. (#65) The Hand of God (Date not known)

POSTHUMOUS CASTS {bronze}
1. (#34) Fallen Caryatid Carrying Her Stone - 1999-2000
2. (#35) Study of Danaid - 1999-2000
3. (#38) The Age of Bronze - 1999-2000
4. (#40) The Age of Bronze - 1999-2000
5. (#44) Eve (large) - 1881
6. (#57) Dance Movement “A” - 1999-2000
7. (#58) Dance Movement “B” - 1999-2000
8. (#59) Dance Movement “C” - 1999-2000
9. (#60) Dance Movement “D” - 1999-2000
10. (#62) Nijinsky - 1999-2000
11. (#66) Hand of Rodin Holding Torso - 1999-2000
12. (#>66) Large Clenched Left Hand with Half-Length Figure of a Woman - 1972
13. (#>66) Blessing Left Hand - (posthumous)
14. (#68) The Thinker - 1999-2000

LIFETIME CASTS {bronze}
1. (#2) Eustache de St. Pierre Holding Torso (lifetime) - 1895 (Vancouver)
2. (#39) The Age of Bronze - 1876 (Edmonton)
3. (#49) Balzac - 1897 (Edmonton)
4. (#51) Eternal Spring - 1916 (MacKenzie)




DEFINITIONS

To properly address the contentious isseus of authenticity with From Plaster to Bronze: The Sculpture of Auguste Rodin exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum, it is a must to first document the definitions of the key terms: reproduction, replica, original, sculpture, sculptor, signature, fake, forgeries and counterfeit.

Then using those independent and published definitions, the documented facts surrounding this exhibit with the relevant statutory laws applied and including industry’s endorsed standards on ethics, one will come to only one conclusion: “The dead don't sculpt.”

First, let’s address one important and serious omission the MacLaren Art Centre and others involved in this deception make.

MACLAREN ART CENTRE
The MacLaren Art Centre writes: “He {Rodin} bequeaths his estate to the French government for the installation of a Rodin museum at the Hotel Biron.”[FN 21]

The key but very important -omission- is that Auguste Rodin specifically gave in writing in 1916 to the State of France upon his death the “right of reproduction” to his art.

WHAT IS AN OMISSION?
On page 1116 of the Seventh Edition of Black's Law Dictionary, -omission- is defined as: "The act of leaving something out."[FN 22]

RODIN’S -RIGHT OF REPRODUCTION- GIFT TO FRANCE
This “right of reproduction” is documented by the former Musee Rodin curator Monique Laurent on page 285 in the National Gallery of Art’s 1981 Rodin Rediscovered exhibition catalogue: “Let us indicate right away on this subject that he never fixed a precise limit to the number made. The only indication on this point occurs in the text of the donation of 1 April 1916, according to which “notwithstanding the transfer of artistic ownership authorized to the State of M. Rodin, the latter expressly reserves for himself the enjoyment, during his life, of the reproduction rights of those objects given by him, being well understood that the said right of reproduction will remain strictly personal to the donor who is forbidden to cede it for whatever reason to any third party. He will have, in consequence, the right to reproduce and to edit his works and to make impressions or mold for the usage which suits him. In the event that M. Rodin, exercising the right that he has thus reserved, contracts with an art editor for the reproduction in bronze of one or several works included in the present donation, the contract of publication cannot be made for a period of more than five years and the number of reproductions of each work shall not exceed ten.”[FN 23]

This excerpt from Auguste Rodin’s 1916 Will makes it quite clear that Auguste Rodin understood his “right of reproduction” he was giving to the State of France upon his death. It is also very clear that the State of France also understood the “right of reproduction” so well that they got edition of “ten” restrictions and “five year publication” time constraints put on Auguste Rodin before his death but with no such posthumous restrictions put upon themselves.

After Auguste Rodin died November 17, 1917 the State of France then owned the “right of reproduction” to Auguste Rodin’s art to make -reproductions-. Eighty-four years later in 2001, much of Auguste Rodin’s art is in the public domain so anyone can reproduce it.

Why would the MacLaren Art Centre and others fail to disclose this specific “right of reproduction?”

WHAT IS A REPRODUCTION?
In Ralph Mayer’s A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques, -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 24]

In the J. Paul Getty Trust’s website, under their Getty Vocabulary Program, 0reproduction- is defined as: “Use with regard to copies of art images, art objects, or other valued images or objects, made without intent to deceive; with regard to art images, includes photographic reproductions; implies more precise and faithful imitation than does the term -copies (derivative objects).' Where the intent is to deceive, use “forgeries” or “counterfeits.”[FN 25]

Based on the prior two documented and independent definitions for reproduction, anything reproduced from Auguste Rodin’s art would be a -reproduction-. Anything posthumously reproduced directly from Auguste Rodin’s art would absolutely have to be a -reproduction- since it obviously would have to been “done by someone other than the creator of the original” since obviously Auguste Rodin would have still been dead at the time.

MACLAREN ART CENTRE AND CASTS THAT REPLICATE
On the MacLaren Art Centre’s website, it stated: “These {foundry plasters} are casts that replicate either the exhibition or reserve plasters and provide the first step in the process of translating a sculpture from plaster to bronze. The accuracy and detailing of the foundry plasters is essential. This helps to ensure that the finished work captures and conveys with as much fidelity as possible the form, dimensions, and nuances the artist intended.”[FN 26]

WHAT IS A REPLICA?
In Ralph Mayer’s Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques, -replica- is defined as: “In the fine arts, an exact copy or duplicate of a work, done in the same size and in the same medium, and done by the artist who created the original (or, sometimes, done under the artist’s direct supervision). A replica is considered in all important respects to be equal of the original and of other replicas of the same work. The word is sometimes loosely used for any copy of a work done in the same medium by someone other than the creator of the original.”[FN 27]

So, based on the above definition unless the artist creates the replica it would not be a -replica-. It would instead be a reproduction.

Therefore, why is the term "translating,” used by the MacLaren Art Centre's description, instead of -reproducing- in describing the bronze casting process for these posthumous bronze reproductions? If these objects were fully and honestly disclosed, wouldn’t the MacLaren Art Centre, the Royal Ontario Museum and Gruppo Mondiale Est. have to admit that they are at least -reproductions-? This admission would mean these objects were “done by someone other than the creator of the original?”

So, are they -reproductions- or something worse?

THE SAME PLASTER MODEL WILL BE USED
On page 279 of the essay “An Original in Sculpture” in the National Gallery of Art’s 1981 Rodin Rediscovered exhibition catalogue, University of Paris Professor and former Director of the Museums of France Jean Chatelain wrote: “The examples are made from the same model but are eventually completed by different craftsmen at intervals of several years. When the twelfth copy of The Burghers of Calais is cast, the same plaster model will be used as was used the first time in 1894, but of course different craftsmen will carry out the casting.”[FN 28]

In other words, Jean Chatelain believes and wants the reader to believe that same lifetime plasters realized by Rodin would used for casting lifetime and posthumous bronzes.

Tthe Musee Rodin went officially into business in 1919.

Therefore everything Musee Rodin authorizes is -posthumous- or in other words after Auguste Rodin’s November 17, 1917 death.

NOT FROM THE ORIGINAL PLASTERS

Now contrast Jean Chatelain’s published 1981 statement: “the same plaster model will be used” with the two independently documented 2001 statements by the Musee Rodin’s curator Antoinette Romain:

1) In the Musee Rodin's 2001 website, the Musee Rodin curator Antoinette Romain wrote: “Consequently, whenever it is decided to release a new "subject", a copy is first made from the old mould which can be sent without risk to the foundry where it undergoes the necessary preparations for casting. It is coated with an unmoulding agent, usually in a dark colour, and cut, before being cast again. This practice not only ensures absolute fidelity to the original but also preserves the old plasters which are obviously more valuable since they were made during the lifetime of Rodin.”[FN 29]

2) The Musee Rodin curator Antoinette Romain confirmed, in a February 2, 2000 FAX, the Musee Rodin practice of making plaster copies of Rodin’s “original plasters” for reproducing in bronze. Translated from “French” to “English” by me using AltaVista Translations and The Oxford French Dictionary, the Musee Rodin curator states: “We take a new proof in the moulds which we possess to avoid sending the original plasters to the foundry. These moulds are the moulds of Rodin, and thus ensure us a perfect fidelity. In this way the original plasters remain intact.”[FN 30]

The University of Paris Professor and former Director of the Museums of France Jean Chatelain has just be contradicted.

In other words, by avoiding sending the hypothetical original plasters to the foundry, they have willingly given up the authentic original surface details made by the working fingers of Rodin himself or that Rodin approved through his collaboration with his “sculpteur reproducteur habituel” Henri Lebosse. Each time the surface of one of these subjects is approximated by the necessary crude handling of the materials used in the reproduction processes, there is visible change. The resulting pieces may be interesting to look at, but it is an absurdity to pretend they are just the way Rodin would have wanted and intended for them to appear.

What laws or decrees by the State of France require disclosure of reproductions as "reproductions?”

REPRODUCTIONS MUST CARRY THE NOTATION REPRODUCTION
In March 3, 1981 the State of France passed a decree 81.255 on the suppression of frauds in transactions involving art works. This is decree is documented on page 281 in Jean Chatelain’s essay “An Original in Sculpture,” published in the 1981 Rodin Rediscovered exhibition catalogue. In part, he wrote that Article 9 of this decree published March 21, 1981 in the Journal Officiel requires: “All facsimiles, casts of casts, copies, or other reproductions of an original work of art as set out in Article 71 of Appendix III of the General Code of Taxes, executed after the date of effectiveness of the present decree, must carry in a visible and indelible manner the notation ‘Reproduction’.”[FN 31]

After 1981 does the Musee Rodin mark their authorized -Rodin- bronze reproductions in a “visible and indelible manner” as “reproductions” as required by this French decree?

Aside the reproductions offered for sale in their gift shop, the bronzes sold to wealthy collectors and cultural institutions by the Musee Rodin seem -not-  to "carry in a visible and indelible manner the notation ‘Reproduction’."

Since, the Musee Rodin readily admits they do not send the original plasters realized by Auguste Rodin during his lifetime but posthumous plaster forgeries for casting in bronze, the results would be second-generation-removed bronze forgeries.

Those foundries involved in the posthumous bronze casting of plaster forgeries sent to them by the Musee Rodin, in part, are “Alexis Rudier” and “Georges Rudier.”

LIST OF FOUNDRIES
(Source: Monique Laurent, 1981 Rodin Rediscovered (pages 285-293)[FN 32]

1880-1883 Gruet Jeune
1881-1904 F. Rudier
April 1882-Jan 1883 F. Laird
25 April 1882 Eugene Gonon
1884-1889 Pierre Bingen
1891-1895 Adolpe Gruet
1895 to mid-1898 J.B. Griffoul
1895-1898 Thiebaut Freres
1895 Societe Nationale des Bronzes, formerly J. Peterman
1896-1901 Leon Perzinka
1887-1894 Griffoul, associated with Lorge
4 April 1898-1908 Thiebaut Freres, Fumiere et Gavignot
June 1898 to March 1899 A. (Auguste) Griffoul et Cie
24 October 1898, MM. Fumiere et Gavignot
1899 Camille Groult, heir to Dargenton et Groult
1901 L. Gasne
1902 E. Gruet Jeune
1902 G. Sevin
1903 Pierre Griffoul
1904 Philippet
1906-1908 H. Gonot et E. Joret
1910 C. Durant
1912 Valsuani
1912-1913 Phillippe Montagutelli
1913 Rene Fulda
1898-1918 Le Blanc-Barbedienne
1902-1952 Alexis Rudier

1917 Auguste Rodin dies

1952- Georges Rudier
1964-1978 Susse
1969- Godard
1973- Coubertin






"COLLECTION OF BRONZES FOR SALE

The collection consists of a series of over 50 Rodin sculptures, from which will be cast 8 pieces each, with a certificate of authenticity. This document guarantees that the bronze was cast by the lost wax process from a foundry plaster identical to the original. Each bronze is finished using the exact same patinas and techniques as used during the life of the artist. All dimensions and details are exact to life time casts. Each cast has Masters Limited Edition cachet and is numbered."[FN 33]

GRUPPO MONDIALE EST.

The Gruppo Mondiale Est. claims on their website that their “Master Edition Auguste Rodin bronze casts” are from “Rodin’s original plasters.”[FN 34]

Addiitionally, on the Gruppo Mondiale Est.’s website, the -provenance- provide for their “Rodin plasters”[FN 35] are: 1) Alexis Rudier Foundeur, Paris, 2) Eugene Rudier, Paris, 3) Georges Rudier, Paris, and 4) Private collection (France) to Gruppo Mondiale Est.

How can Gruppo Mondiale Est. have “Rodin’s original plasters” for posthumous casting in bronze, if the Musee Rodin doesn't even send Auguste Rodin's original plasters to those same foundries: Alexis Rudier and Georges Rudier that Gruppo Mondiale Est. claims to have acquired them from?

The Gruppo Mondiale Est., located in Via Roma, 74 33050 Trivignano Udinese, Udine Italy, is the source of the majority of the -plasters- and -bronzes-, donated to the MacLaren Art Centre Collection, that are currently exhibited in the From Plaster to Bronze: The Sculpture of Auguste Rodin exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum.

RED FLAGS
Aside from Musee Rodin’s admission of sending plaster forgeries to those prior mentioned foundries, there are other -RED FLAGS- to Gruppo Mondiale Est. claim that they have “Rodin’s original plasters.”

What are some of those -red flags-?

ALEXIS RUDIER WAS RUN BY EUGENE RUDIER
One of those -red flags- is Gruppo Mondiale Est. listing “Alexis Rudier” and “Eugene Rudier” separately when actually they were the same foundry using his father’s name -Alexis Rudier- that was run by Eugene Rudier from 1902 till his death in 1952.

ALEXIS RUDIER CASTS ARE IN MAJORITY POSTHUMOUS
On page 290 of the 1981 Rodin Rediscovered exhibition catalogue’s “Rodin and His Founders” essay, the former Musee Rodin curator Monique Laurent writes: “Studying of the existing {Musee Rodin} archives brings out a curious paradox: not a single document is found from Alexis Rudier, so that this prestigious mark, long considered Rodin’s ideal standard in bronze and symbolizing for amateurs the old cast acknowledged and endorsed by him, is actually a label of little significance. ...the Musee Rodin owns no proof of collaboration between Alexis and Rodin. Even more, his name appears for the first time on 24 March 1902, five years after his {Francois} death, with the formula “Alexis Rudier, Veuve Alexis Rudier et Fils Successeur... starting in 1902, the uninterrupted production of the firm concerned in reality the activity of Alexis’s son Eugene.” ...the casts of Alexis Rudier {foundry} are in the great majority posthumous since the mark was used for at least thirty-five years after the sculptor’s death... Georges Rudier, Eugene’s nephew, took over the directing of the business and made casts under his own name ...sometime around 1952 or a “year or two later.”[FN 36]

HENRY BONNARD IS ACTUALLY HENRY-BONNARD
Gruppo Mondiale Est. commingling of dates, facts and terms brought to memory a 1995 telephone conversation with the Remington Museum Director Lowell McAllister. In that conversation he told about the inside joke on all the posthumous forged “Remington bronzes.” It was that those individuals deceptively selling them to unsuspecting victims would promote them as being from the original “Henry Bonnard Bronze Company.” The joke is the “Henry Bonnard” is actually two separate people Mr. Henry and Mr. Bonnard. It’s really the “Henry-Bonnard Bronze Foundry.”

PROVENANCE UNAVAILABLE FROM GRUPPO MONDIALE EST
When Gruppo Mondiale Est. was directly asked to provide complete documentation for the provenance of these plasters, their representative Colin Mills responded in January 27, 2001, by stating: “We have officially recognized ‘provenance’ for our pieces, although for legal reasons it can only be disclosed to certified attorneys.”[FN 37]

Despite Gruppo Mondiale Est. representative’s “legal reasons” not to fully disclose the provenance for their -Rodin plasters-, what other historical and published documentation might give doubt to their claim that they have “Rodin’s original plasters?”

LEONCE BENEDITE, FIRST MUSEE RODIN DIRECTOR
First, the last few years before Auguste Rodin’s death, his control and oversight of his plasters was subverted by those entrusted by the State of France to protect it. A prime example of this subversion is the first Musee Rodin director Leonce Benedite.

GATES OF HELL REARRANGED BY BENEDITE
On page 148, in Albert Elsen’s 1985 Gates of Hell by Auguste Rodin catalogue, on page 148, the author wrote: “As events after Rodin’s death were to prove, Benedite did overstep his authority on certain occasions. In the matter of the final assembly of the doorway, Judith Cladel, who was dismissed by Benedite as a curator at the Musee Rodin, wrote during the years 1933-36 that workmen told her in 1917 that Benedite edited their efforts on at least one occasion in a way they felt Rodin would not have approved: ‘Some of Rodin’s scandalized assistants who cast his plasters made it known to me that, charged with the reassembly of The Gates of Hell, they received orders to place certain figures in different arrangement than that which the artist wanted, because 'that would be better.’”[FN 38]

BENEDITE AUTHORIZED POSTHUMOUS ENLARGEMENTS

One of those -occasions- that Albert Elsen refers to is in his Footnote 17 on page 253 of his book. It stated: “In 1921, during the course of a trial on charges brought by the State against a founder who was casting Rodin’s work without authorization, it was shown that Benedite had authorized the enlargement of Rodin’s La Defense after the artist’s death.”[FN 39]

HENRI LEBOSSE, SCULPTEUR REPRODUCTEUR HABITUEL
Second, on page 253 in Albert Elsen’s “Rodin’s “Perfect Collaborator,” Henri Lebosse” essay, in the National Gallery of Art’s 1981 Rodin Rediscovered exhibition catalogue, Stanford Professor and Rodin scholar wrote: “From the mid-1890’s until his death, Rodin entrusted most if not all of his important enlargements and reductions to this dedicated and today unknown technician who referred to himself as Rodin’s ‘sculpteur reproducteur habituel.’ Lebosse wrote the master on January 24, 1903. ‘I would like to be your perfect collaborator.’”[FN 40]

HENRI LEBOSSE BETRAYS RODIN'S LEGACY
Unfortunately, on page 256 of this essay, Albert Elsen documents that Henri Lebosse became one of Auguste Rodin’s biggest betrayers. After August Rodin’s death in 1917, the Musee Rodin Director Benedite directed Henri Lebosse to increase the original scale of the sculpture “The Defense” four times. Albert Elsen wrote: “Tragically for Rodin’s “perfect collaborator,” the Verdun enlargement became part of a 1920 scandal involving fake works, marble carvers who continued to turn out sculpture signed with Rodin’s name, and unauthorized bronze casts by the Baredienne foundry.”[FN 41]

1918-1919 RODIN FAKES IMPLICATE ITALIAN SCULPTOR
On page 289 in the 1981 Rodin Rediscovered exhibition catalogue, Monique Laurent further explains the circumstances behind the 1919 scandal and trial when she writes: “As for Philippe Montagutelli, founder, 54, avenue du maine in Paris, who worked in 1912 and 1913 on Clemenceau, France and Carrie-Belleuse, among others, but in September 1913, Rodin challenged him and filed a complaint for counterfeiting. This first affair would be followed in 1918-1919 by a famous trial for fakes and counterfeits in which the sculptor Archilles Fidi of Italian origin, was also implicated.”[FN 42]

Is it obvious that if it makes no difference to the Musee Rodin whether Auguste Rodin’s “original plasters” are used for reproducing bronzes, why would Gruppo Mondiale Est. want to make that distinction?

WHAT IS AN ORIGINAL?
In the J. Paul Getty Trust’’s website that “supports limited research and cataloging efforts,” under their Getty Vocabulary Program, the term -original- is defined as: “Use to distinguish from reproductions or other types of copies.”[FN 43]

In Ralph Mayer’s Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques, -original- is defined as: “An artist’s independent creation. 2. a work of art considered as a PROTOTYPE, as that from which copies and reproductions have been made.”[FN 44]

WHAT IS A SCULPTURE?
Additionally, on page 352, in Ralph Mayer’s Dictionary of Art Terms & Techniques, -sculpture- is defined as: “The creation of three dimensional forms by carving, modeling or assembly. In carving, the sculptor removes unwanted material.... In modeling on the other hand, the sculptor creates a form by building it up...”[FN 45]

The definition of -sculpture- is further confirmed by J. Paul Getty Trust’s website, under their Getty Vocabulary Program, where it is defined as: “Use for works of art in which images and forms are carried out primarily in three dimensions, especially those that retain the quality of being tangible objects or groups of objects.”[FN 46]

WHAT IS A SCULPTOR?
This is answered in the J. Paul Getty Trust’s website, under their Getty Vocabulary Program, -sculptor- is defined as: “Artists who specialize in creating images and forms that are carried out primarily in three dimensions, generally in the media of stone, wood, or metal.”[FN 47]

Based on the above documented definitions for the terms original, sculpture, and sculptor, Auguste Rodin would have to be living to be a -sculptor- which would obviously allow him the ability to create his own -original- works of visual art in -sculpture-.

Therefore, anything reproduced from Auguste Rodin’s art, after his death November 17, 1917, would be, at best, a -reproduction-. Obviously, if it is a -reproduction-, it would have been done by someone other than the artist. As a result it could not be an -original- work of visual art ie., -sculpture-.

The dead don't sculpt.

Since, the Musee Rodin authorized “Rodin” bronzes cast from posthumous plaster reproductions instead of from Rodin’s “original work{s} of art” ie., lifetime plasters as required by Auguste Rodin's 1916 Will, what should they be called?

WHAT IS A FAKE?
On page 617 of the Seventh Edition of Black’s Law Dictionary, -fake- is defined as: “Something that is not what it purports to be.”[FN 48]

Would forgeries forged from reproductions of Auguste Rodin’s original art misrepresented as sculpture be “something that is not what it purports to be?”

"A RODIN" SIGNATURE
In referring to Auguste Rodin’s lifetime practice of signing his bronzes, on page 22 of the former Musee Rodin curator Monique Laurent’s 1988 RODIN book, the former Musee Rodin curator wrote: “Most of the bronzes are stamped with the artist’s signature (copied from an example supplied by him and also with the stamp of the foundry). Some, although perfectly authentic, are unsigned. But there is no question of any of them being numbered or dated; these are modern methods, linked with notion of rarity and speculation in art.”[FN 49]

This documentation directly confirms that during Auguste Rodin’s lifetime he authorized his “signature” to be stamped on his bronzes.

So, once Auguste Rodin died in 1917, the State of France would have the “right of reproduction” to his art but would anyone other than a living Auguste Rodin have the right to posthumously apply his signature?

-A RODIN- CACHE MARK ADDED AFTER 1919 TRIAL
In her essay “Rodin and His Founders” on page 290 in the 1981 Rodin Rediscovered exhibition catalogue, the former curator Monique Laurent wrote: “It had been thought that a dating element could be found thanks to the cachet A. RODIN, cast in relief on the interior of certain casts by Alexis Rudier. According to the founder Georges Rudier, the addition of this mark would have been agreed on with the Rudier Foundry after the trial of 1919 in which Montagutelli was implicated in order to betray illicit castings, but there exist several casts made during Rodin’s lifetime bearing this signature.”[FN 50]

The above published reference shows the arrogance of the Musee Rodin and the State of France. They act as if they are the only ones that can counterfeit Auguste Rodin’s signature. When in fact no one but the living artists themselves can sign their name.

WHAT IS A SIGNATURE?
This is answered in the J. Paul Getty Trust’s website, Under their Getty Vocabulary Program, -signature- is defined as: “Persons' names written in their own hand.”[FN 51]

On page 1387 of the Seventh Edition of Black’s Law Dictionary, -signature- is defined as: “A person's name or mark written by that person or at the person's direction.”[FN 52]

WHAT IS A FORGERY?
In Ralph Mayer’s Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques it defines -forgery- as: “In the fine arts, the creation of a spurious work with intention of deceiving and/or defrauding; also, the spurious work itself. A forgery is rarely a copy of an original.”[FN 53]

In J. Paul Getty Trust’s website, under their Getty Vocabulary Program, -forgery- is defined as: “Use for valued objects or documents that are made or altered with intent to deceive; may range in falsehood from counterfeiting of whole works to altering of signatures or other deliberate misrepresentations. Distinguished from "copies (derivative objects)" by the intention of deception.”[FN 54]

As noted earlier, on page 661 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 55]

So, if the Musee Rodin’s authorized -Rodins- are: “the act of fraudulently making a false document or altering a real one to be used as if genuine," would they be considered -forgeries-?

WHAT IS COUNTERFEIT?
This is answered in the J. Paul Getty Trust’s  website, under their Getty Vocabulary Program, -counterfeit- is defined as: “To forge; to copy or imitate, without authority or right, and with a view to deceive or defraud, by passing the copy or thing forged for that which is original or genuine.”[FN 56]

On page 354 of Seventh Edition of Black’s Law Dictionary, -counterfeit- is defined as: “To forge, copy, or imitate (something) without a right to do so and with the purpose of deceiving or defrauding."[FN 57]

New York statute 11.01 defines “counterfeit” as: “a work of fine art or multiple made, altered or copied, with or without intent to deceive, in such a manner that it appears or is claimed to have authorship which it does not in fact possess.”[FN 58]

Would the any sculpture in the From Plaster to Bronze: The Sculpture of Auguste Rodin exhibition be -counterfeit- if: “altered or copied, with or without intent to deceive, in such a manner that it appears or is claimed to have authorship which it does not in fact possess?”

What if any documentation has been presented to authenticate any of these objects promoted as “sculptures by Auguste Rodin?”



























DECLARATIONS OF AUTHENTICITY

[EXCERPT] The “Declarations of Authentication” for the MacLaren Art Centre’s plasters were completed and authenticated by Dr. David Schaff. The title of the cover letter for these “Declarations” is: “Attestations of Authenticity for a Collection of Twenty one works in plaster by Auguste Rodin.”

WHO IS DR. DAVID SCHAFF?
Dr. David Schaff, is described on the Royal Ontario Museum's www.rom.on.ca website as the "Curator of the Rodin exhibition and a noted Rodin scholar"[FN 59] for the MacLaren Art Centre organized September 20 to December 23, 2001 From Plaster to Bronze: The Sculpture of Auguste Rodin exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum.

Therefore, to carefully lay a foundation for factually evaluating these “Declarations” for these “plasters” published in writing as -authentic-, first let’s define certain key terms -provenance- and -authentic-.

PROVENANCE AS DEFINED BY SOTHEBYS
The auction house Sotheby’s on their website defines -provenance- as: "The history ownership of the property being sold. This can be an important part of the authentication process as it establishes the chain for ownership back (if possible) to the time the piece was made.”[FN 60]

On page 127 of the Seventh Edition of Black’s Law Dictionary, -authentication- is defined as: “Broadly, the act of proving that something (as a document) is true or genuine, esp. so that it may be admitted as evidence.”[FN 61]

In the “Attestations of Authenticity for a Collection of twenty-one works in plaster by Auguste Rodin” cover letter Dr. Schaff wrote: “I have reviewed original documentation for the major works, which substantiated their provenance.”

Does Dr. Schaff provide copies of that documentation? Provenance without documentation is not worth the paper it’s not printed on.

Also, Dr. Schaff’s writes: “{He} examined every work in person. This examination took place on a number of occasions, both before the conservation of some of the plasters and after its completion.”[FN 62] Aside the number of occasions he examined these “plasters, what does Dr. Schaff mean by “conservation” of these plasters?

This is answered, in part, when Dr. Schaff wrote: “It is my conclusion that conservation has returned their surfaces to those created by Rodin.”[FN 63]

Regardless of Dr. Schaff’s opinion, what was the photographic documented condition of these plasters before these posthumous “conservation” changes were made and specifically what was altered? Who authorized this “conservation” and who was it that was entrusted with the responsibility of subjectively substituting their judgment for Auguste Rodin in this posthumous “conservation” of these alleged “Rodin plasters?”

Let’s address three independent and published documented facts which put Dr. Schaff’s written assertions in serious doubt.

LEBOSSE DOING MOST IF NOT ALL PLASTER ENLARGEMENTS
First, as documented earlier, on page 253 in the National Gallery of Art’s published 1981 Rodin Rediscovered exhibition catalogue, Stanford Professor and Rodin scholar Albert Elsen wrote: “By 1900, it seems Lebosse was personally doing most if not all, of the enlargements {in plaster} in a separate part of the studio and probably left the less exacting reductions to others.”[FN 64]

Would the credibility of the -conservation- of these “Rodin plasters,” that “returned their surfaces to those created by Rodin,” be potentially seriously flawed if one was to leave out the historical contribution by Auguste Rodin’s “sculpteur reproducteur habituel,” Henri Lebosse and others’ substantial and documented contribution in their enlargements and reduction?

So, others are responsible for “return{ing} their surfaces to those created by Rodin.”

OXYMORON
Isn't that an "combination of contradictory ideas or terms"[FN 65] which is one definition of -oxymoron- found on page 230 of Webster's New World Pocket Dictionary.

CONSERVATION OF POSTHUMOUS PLASTER FORGERIES
Second, and once again as documented earlier, the Musee Rodin on their 2001 website stated: “Consequently, whenever it is decided to release a new ‘subject,’ a copy is first made from the old mould which can be sent without risk to the foundry where it undergoes the necessary preparations for casting. It is coated with an unmoulding agent, usually in a dark colour, and cut, before being cast again. This practice not only ensures absolute fidelity to the original but also preserves the old plasters which are obviously more valuable since they were made during the lifetime of Rodin.”[FN 66]

So, the -conservation- of these posthumous -plaster- forgeries might return their surfaces to those subjectively and posthumously forged by the Musee Rodin but not by a dead Auguste Rodin.

The dead don't conserve.

Third, and most serious and glaring flaw in the authentication for these -Rodin plasters- is the documented reference to “Signature” and being “signed A. Rodin.”

Once again, as documented earlier, in referring to Auguste Rodin’s lifetime practice of signing his bronzes, on page 22 in the former Musee Rodin curator Monique Laurent’s 1988 RODIN book, she wrote: “Most of the bronzes are stamped with artist’s signature (copied from an example supplied by him and also with the stamp of the foundry). Some, although perfectly authentic, are unsigned. But there is no question of any of them being numbered or dated; these are modern methods, linked with notion of rarity and speculation in art.”[FN 67]

The historical documentation states that Auguste Rodin, during his lifetime, had the foundries trace his name to his bronzes from a sample supplied by him. The Musee Rodin acknowledges that they posthumously forged plaster forgeries from Auguste Rodin’s original plasters to send to the foundries.

The thirty-seven of the forty-eight plasters in the MacLaren Art Centre exhibition checklist are listed as “foundry cast” and/or “studio or foundry cast.”

If this did not sway you that these -plasters- are posthumous forgeries, the counterfeit “A. Rodin” signature posthumously applied should leave you with no doubt.

As documented earlier the legal definition of -signature- is: “a person's names written in their own hand.”

The dead don't sign

DR. SCHAFF CONCLUDES THEY ARE ORIGINAL WORKS BY RODIN
In the “Conclusion” for these “declarations," Dr. Schaff states: “Allowing for the normal practice of the artist’s studio, I conclude that these are original works by Auguste Rodin (1840-1917).”[FN 68]

Of course, that is if one suspends disbelief and just believes, that despite documentation to the contrary, Henri Lebosse did not reproduce plasters for Rodin, that foundries did not reproduce those plasters into bronze and that the Musee Rodin does not send posthumous 1st-generation-removed plaster forgeries for casting 2nd-generation-removed forgeries into bronze.






























DECLARATION OF AUTHENTICITY" FOR HAND OF RODIN: HOLDING A TORSO

[EXCERPT] In this “declaration” Dr. Schaff wrote: “Hand of Rodin Holding a Torso (the torso, a cast of an original work by Auguste Rodin: the hand of Auguste Rodin on his deathbed. Inscribed on wrist: A Rodin.” Dr. Schaff continues by stating: “I have personally examined this work of art and affirm that it conforms with minor variations, to other examples of the composition and to the studio practices of Auguste Rodin.”

LIFE CAST FORGED TO A TORSO
Now contrast Dr. Schaff assertions that this Hand of Rodin Holding a Torso plaster is “original work by Auguste Rodin” with page 637 in the 1976 Sculpture of Auguste Rodin by John Tancock, where the author wrote: “Three weeks before Rodin’s death, Paul Cruet, who was largely responsible at that time for making Rodin’s molds, took this cast of his right hand. Into it was inserted a cast of a small torso by Rodin, Small Torso A, one of the innumerable small fragments possibly connected with The Gates of Hell (no. 1). The torso has since been cast separately. This composite work, made from a life cast and an original work, which pays homage to Rodin the sculptor. This plaster was “not signed or inscribed.”[FN 69]

Early in Auguste Rodin’s career his Age of Bronze -bronze- was criticized by some critics as being cast from life despite his denials.

So, on his deathbed a stroke-ridden invalid Auguste Rodin’s hand is subsequently cast in plaster and combined with one of his original plaster sculptures and eighty-four years later is promoted in Dr. Schaff’s -declaration- as a “cast of an original work by Auguste Rodin” and inscribed with his signature: “A Rodin.”

The same unethical practice of casting from life Auguste Rodin fought so hard to deny about his art, is now attributed directly to him with a counterfeit “A Rodin” signature applied to create the illusion he approved the entire process when he obviously did not.


MORAL RIGHTS AND THE RIGHTS OF ATTRIBUTION
The 1990 Visual Artist’s Rights Act amended the 1976 Copyright Act of 1976. In part, it granted the artist the “Right of Attribution” which ends when the artist dies.

In the Visual Artist’s Business and Legal Guide Attorney Katherine M. Thompson states: “The Berne Convention of 1886 provides artists with moral rights in their work. This international treaty requires all members to adhere to a minimum standard of moral rights for their artists. When the United States became a signatory, however, it sought to change the Copyright Act only where necessary to comply. The VARA amends the Copyright Act to provide a definition of art; to grant artists additional rights, such as the right of attribution and the right of integrity.”[FN 70]

Since, the “Right of Attribution” dies when the artist dies how can Dr. Schaff refer to a posthumous and -imaginary reconstruction- forgery of the Hand of Rodin Holding a Torso with a counterfeit “A Rodin” signature applied as a "cast of an original work by Auguste Rodin?"

One would have to get the impression that perception is preferred over reality by the majority of the MacLaren Art Centre, Royal Ontario Museum and Gruppo Mondiale Est. principals involved in the exhibition of these so-called “plasters” and “bronzes” promoted as “sculptures by Auguste Rodin.”




“Masters Edition Rodin casts, however, do not implicate the droit moral for several reasons. First, they are not lifetime casts, but rather recasts from foundry plasters. Therefore, the moral rights related to physical control over the works, such as the rights of withdrawal, alteration and publication, do not extend to them. Moreover, the re-casts do not alter the plasters or the image embodied in the Rodin originals and, therefore, they do not involve the droit au respect de l'Oeuvre. Finally, all the bronze casts contain accurate attribution, thus respecting droit a la paternite and avoiding any confusion regarding the origins of each work.”[FN 71]




ALL THE BRONZE CASTS CONTAIN ACCURATE ATTRIBUTION
In the excerpt from Gruppo Mondiale Est.'s above FAQ, on its' website, it stated: "all the bronze casts contain accurate attribution."[FN 72]

Though Gruppo Mondiale Est. makes a big to do on their website about copyright when they state: "with respect to copyright law, the United States, Europe, South America, and Asia provide that all copyright in a work expire seventy (70) years after the death of the author," under U.S. Copyright Law 106a, the "Rights of Attribution shall not apply to any reproductions."[FN 73]

MASK THE DISCLOSURE OF REPRODUCTIONS AND FORGERIES
Throughout Gruppo Mondiale Est.'s website, the overt or subtle abuse of terms is used to mask the disclosure of reproductions and forgeries they promote for sale.

GRUPPO MONDIALE EST.'s DOUBLE TALK
Aside the Gruppo Mondiale Est's titled website, here are eight examples of their double talk: 

  1. "using the finest craftsman and techniques developed by Rodin's fondeurs, bronze casts were created"[FN 74] is misleading since cast by definition is "to reproduce an object, such as a piece of sculpture, by means of a MOLD" resulting in reproduced, -not- "created," reproductions., 
  2. "The collection consists of a series of over 50 Rodin sculptures, from which will be cast 8 pieces each"[FN 75] is misleading since posthumous forgeries promoted as "pieces" does -not- attain the minimum threshold of disclosure., 
  3. "The book was printed by Arti Grafiche Amilcare Pizzi S.p.A., one of the premier art book printers"[FN 76] is misleading since the Gruppo Mondiale Est.'s published book consists mostly of reproductions and forgeries., 
  4. "photographic work done by Mario Carrieri (considered the foremost photographer of sculpture)"[FN 77] is misleading since the vast majority of photographs in this book will be of reproductions and forgeries, -not- "sculptures.", 
  5. "The objective of the project is to bring the highest quality reissue of the most important Rodin bronzes"[FN 78] is overtly misleading since posthumously cast bronzes, in this case, would be forged -not- "reissued.", 
  6. "This site is just part of this project, but it will become one of the many instruments today available to acquire knowledge about Auguste Rodin's art"[FN 79] is overtly misleading since the vast majority of the plasters and bronzes are either posthumous reproductions or outright forgeries., 
  7. "Copyright regimes enable an artist to control and profit from their work, thereby encouraging artistic endeavor for the benefit of the artist"[FN 80] is misleading since a dead artist has no "control" and no "artistic endeavor" and finally, 
  8. "These casts are equal in all details to lifetime casts and are among the finest casts ever done from this remarkable artist"[FN 81] is convoluted to an extreme since even the "finest casts" can never be "done from this remarkable artist" who happens to be dead.



Why would Gruppo Mondiale Est., the MacLaren Art Centre and the Royal Ontario Museum fail to disclose and fully document the complete provenance of these plaster reproductions and bronze forgeries they deceptively promote as “sculptures by Auguste Rodin?”

$40 MILLION REASONS NOT TO DOCUMENT
Could this be answered, in part, by the MacLaren Art Centre’s March 29, 2001 Press Release titled: “$40 Million Donation of Rodin Sculptures Kicks Off ArtCity in Barrie?” The beginning to the text of their press release immediately reaffirms the -value- promoted in the title when it states: “The MacLaren Art Centre today launched ArtCity with the donation and loan of sculpture by Auguste Rodin valued at $40 million.”[FN 82]

Based on the 1999 and 2001 dates given for the 24 MacLaren Art Centre's -bronzes-, they could not be “sculptures by Auguste Rodin.”

Auguste Rodin died in 1917, some 82 years earlier.

The dead don't sculpt.

FOUNDRY PLASTERS
Also, based on prior documentation, the MacLaren Art Centre’s 25 -plasters- are most likely posthumous plaster forgeries ie., “foundry plasters” of Rodin’s original plasters and therefore could not be “sculptures by Auguste Rodin.”

Would the -$40 million- promoted value for these so-called “sculptures by Auguste Rodin” dramatically change if, as previously documented, the majority of these -plasters- and -bronzes- were posthumous forgeries?

TWO POSTHUMOUS FORGERIES FROM CANTOR CENTER
In the MacLaren Art Centre’s exhibition checklist, it lists a "Large Clenched Left Hand with Half-Length Figure of a Woman (ca. 1890) bronze (posthumous cast authorized by Musee Rodin, 1972)” and “Blessing Left Hand (1880-1884) bronze (posthumous cast taken from 1880-1884 plaster)” on loan from the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts at Stanford University.

On page 582 and 593, in the 2003 published Rodin's Art, The Rodin Collection of the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts at Stanford University catalogue, both of the above posthumous bronzes are listed as: "Signed A. Rodin."[FN 83]

How'd the dead Auguste Rodin do that?

There have been some scholars who have questioned the posthumous -casting- of the numerous plaster hands and pieces found in Rodin’s studio after his death. Despite these questions, the Musee Rodin is well within its right to posthumously reproduce any of Rodin’s original plasters. The real question is do these -posthumous casts- authorized by the Musee Rodin also have Musee Rodin approved counterfeit “A Rodin” signatures applied?

TWO POSTHUMOUS FORGERIES FROM EDMONTON ART GALLERY
In the MacLaren Art Centre’s exhibition checklist, it lists a “Balzac (1897)” and “The Age of Bronze (1876)” as “bronzes” loaned from the “Collection of the Edmonton Art Gallery.” The Edmonton Art Gallery’s very own registration documentation for these two bronzes are as follows:

“Acquisition date: Mar 1, 1978
Accession No.: 78.7.2
Artist: Auguste Rodin,
Title: L'age D'airain, 1876
Edition: Cast No. 12 of 12
Dimensions (h,w,d): 104.8 x 34.3 x 29.5 cm
Material: cast bronze
Markings/labels:On right of right side of base - by Musee Rodin, 1970;
On back right of base - Georges Rudier Fondeur, Paris
Signature: base, top - A. Rodin
Source: Westburne International Industries. Prior to donation to EAG from the
collection of J.A. Scrymgeour”

“Acquisition date: Mar 1, 1978
Accession No.: 78.7.1
Artist: Auguste Rodin
Title: Balzac, 1897
Edition: 12 of 12
Dimensions: 106.7 x 53.3 x 47.0 cm
Material: cast bronze
Markings/labels:On top of right side of base: By Musee Rodin 1962;
On right of back of base: Georges Rudier Fondeur, Paris
Signature: base, top - A. Rodin
Source: Westburne International Industries. Prior to donation to EAG from the
collection of J.A. Scrymgeour”

There are three -RED FLAGS- which impeach the dates of “1876” and “1897” given by the MacLaren Art Centre and the Edmonton Art Gallery for these two “bronzes”:
  • 1) The Georges Rudier foundry went into business in 1952,[FN 84] 
  • 2) The practice of numbering edition of twelve began after the passage of the French decree “Article 425 of the Penal Code” in 1957,[FN 85]
  • 3 ) The dates “1962” and “1970” on the respective “bronzes” are dead giveaways. Also, the final impeachment of these two “bronzes” is that they are listed as having Auguste Rodin’s “A Rodin” signature.

In 1962 and 1970, Auguste Rodin was still dead. The dead don't sign.

POSTHUMOUS FORGERY FROM VANCOUVER ART GALLERY
In the MacLaren Art Centre’s exhibition checklist lists: “Eustache de St. Pierre (1884) 1895 version bronze (lifetime cast)” as loaned by the Vancouver Art Gallery. A “lifetime cast” means that Auguste Rodin was alive and personally approved its casting in bronze and authorized his signature applied. The Vancouver Art Gallery’s registration documentation for this “lifetime cast” states:
  • “1) foundry name is inscribed on the back of shoulder (incised and cast), which reads: G. Rudier F. Paris, Foundry name is also mentioned in our files: Georges Rudier inherited Alexis Rudier/Foundeur Paris foundry in 1952 and all the bronzes manufactured by this foundry bear the mark, Georges Rudier/Fondeur Paris, and are inscribed with the date of the casting. On works which weren't cast during the artist's lifetime, the number of the cast from the edition of twelve is inscribed, while the new editions of works that had been cast previously are recorded but unnumbered.
  • “2) According to our records, the statue is one of an edition of twelve. But that number is not inscribed on the statue.
  • “3) Signature on the bronze is incised at the base of neck, in front, on left side: ‘A. Rodin,’ but not dated. There is an incision on left side at back: ‘Rodin, 1964.’
  • “4) Eustache de St. Pierre was acquired in 1983. It was a gift to the Gallery from Dr. Max Stern.”

This MacLaren Art Centre listed -lifetime cast-, from Vancouver Art Gallery, was actually reproduced forty-seven years after Rodin’s death in “1964.”

Auguste Rodin died in 1917. The dead don't sculpt.

MUSEUMS EXIST FOR THEIR AUTHENTICITY
Does it really matter whether an object exhibited in a museum, is -authentic-?

This issue is addressed in the New Zealand News' published January 2, 2001 editorial article: “Museums exist for their authenticity.” This editorial powerfully addresses the issues of authenticity and museums. It stated:

  • “Museums have been enthusiastically brightening themselves in recent times. They are no longer content to be serious, rather austere storehouses of cultural treasure. They aim to be lively, entertaining places with interactive displays and other imaginative methods of engaging people in order to educate them.
  • “That is fine, so long as they remember that their distinguishing value still lies in authenticity. That is what we look for in a museum. We do not need a museum simply to discover what something looked like. Drawings and photographs in books can do that well enough. In a museum we expect to encounter the real thing. A replica, no matter how faithful to the original it might be, is not the same thing.
  • “That assumes, of course, that we know it is a replica. It is not hard for a museum to deceive people if it is so inclined. And there is a danger these days that well-meaning theorists will convince one another that it really does not matter. What is reality anyway, they may ask? If something is made in the exact image of the authentic object, the imitation is real in its own way. And if people believe it is a relic of the past, well it is in a way.
  • “If museums ever succumb to that philosophy, they will not survive. Their credibility will crumble if they become no more than theme parks filled with plastic and plaster representations of reality. There is a place for artifice in museums but it must be carefully presented as such. Patrons have a right to know when looking at a cast of a fossil, for example, whether they are seeing the actual stone in which the plant or animal was preserved, or a cast of the cast. When an ancient urn or a life-sized skeleton is only partly authentic, the public should be able to clearly discern the real bits.
  • “The value of museums is the opportunity they provide for people to feel a connection with others long ago or far away. There is nothing quite like seeing an object that has survived the centuries to sense that connection. Those who seek that connection need museums. They must not be deceived.”[FN 86]

Are any of the plasters and bronzes promoted as -Rodin sculptures-, that can be documented, really -authentic- in this From Plaster to Bronze: The Sculpture of Auguste Rodin exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum?”

There is at least one probable -authentic- lifetime Auguste Rodin bronze.


ONE AUTHENTIC LIFETIME CAST FROM MACKENZIE ART GALLERY

In the MacLaren Art Centre exhibition checklist they list an “Eternal Spring (1916) bronze” as on loan from the MacKenzie Art Gallery. The MacKenzie Art Gallery’s registration documentation for their “bronze” is:
  • “Rodin, Auguste (French 1840-1917)
  • Eternal Spring, 1917
  • Bronze 65.4 x 80 x 40 cm
  • MacKenzie Art Gallery, University of Regina Collection
  • Gift of Mr. Norman MacKenzie
  • Assession Number: 1916-4
  • Signature: base: Rodin on base beneath male outstretched arm
  • Marks: inside of base VI VI
  • back side of base stamped BARBEDIENNE Fondeur
  • “History/Certification: Edition size believed to be approximately 141 [Rodin: Sculpture and Drawings, Catherine Lampert, (London: Arts Council of Great Britain, 1986), p. 206-207
  • “Certificate dated 1916 signed by G. Leblance Barbedienne, certifying execution of bronze caste of model supervised by Rodin.
  • Purchased from Jules Mogey of Paris. Previously owned by Mogey’s son who was a sculptor, but had been recently killed in World War 1.”

The MacKenzie Art Gallery’s documentation for their Eternal Spring is confirmed, in part, in the National Gallery of Art’s 1981 Rodin Rediscovered exhibition catalogue by the former Musee Rodin curator Monique Laurent. The former Musee Rodin curator documents, in her essay “Observations on Rodin and his Founders,” the foundries that have “cast” lifetime and posthumous reproduction bronzes.

BARBEDIENNE FOUNDRY 1899 TO 1919
On page 289 of her essay, the former Musee Rodin curator wrote: “Rodin reached an agreement of the same kind for twenty years with the foundry Gustave Leblanc-Barbedienne, which was directed by the nephew of its founder, Ferdinard Barbedienne. Leblanc-Barbedienne thus owned exclusive rights to working of reductions of the Eternal Spring and of The Kiss except for the original size which the obligation to reserve the casting for the same firm. - For Eternal Spring, with the reservation of some uncertainties, the division of the castings from 1899 to 1919 is the following: fifty casts with a height of 0.40 meters; sixty-nine examples at 0.23 meters; the 0.52 meter size model did not appear until 1908 and thirty-two cast were made of it up to 1919.”[FN 87]

The MacKenzie Art Gallery’s detailed documentation allows any scholar and historian, using other documented and published references, to independently confirm with confidence the -provenance- of this bronze Eternal Spring. Whether it is technically a -lifetime cast- before Rodin’s death on November 17, 1917 or posthumously reproduced sometime before the Barbedienne foundry contract expired in 1919, it may never be known. Though the date of Jules Mogey son’s death in World War 1 would in all probability would nail it down.

ASSOCIATION OF ART MUSEUM DIRECTORS
Three of the six museums contributing to the September 20 to 23, 2001 From Plaster to Bronze: The Sculpture of Auguste Rodin exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum are members of the Association of Art Museum Directors. Those members are: “Edmonton Art Gallery, Alberta, Canada, Vancouver Art Gallery Stanford University Museum of Art, California.”

The MacLaren Art Centre, Royal Ontario Museum and the MacKenzie Art Gallery are not members of the Association of Art Museum Directors.

COLLEGE ART ASSOCIATION
The Association of Art Museum Directors endorses the College Art Association’s April 27, 1974 Statement on Standards for Sculptural Reproduction and Preventive Measures to Combat Unethical Casting in Bronze.

STANDARDS FOR SCULPTURAL REPRODUCTION
In the College Art Association’s Ethics and Guidelines, under the subtitle Unauthorized Translation Into New Materials. it states: “A more complex problem of sculptural reproduction occurs when the artist’s heirs or executors cast his work in a new medium other than that clearly intended by the artist for the final version of his work. This would be the case when an artist’s work was originally carved in wood or stone and then posthumously cast in bronze. In the absence of authorization from the artist this form of moulage should be rejected as unethical.” It continues by stating: “All bronze casting from finished bronzes, all unauthorized enlargements, and all transfers into new materials, unless specifically condoned by the artist, all works cast as a result of being in the public domain should be considered as inauthentic or counterfeit. Unauthorized casts of works in the public domain cannot be looked upon as accurate presentations of the artist’s achievement. Accordingly, in the absence of relevant laws and for moral reasons, such works should: -- Not be acquired by museums or exhibited as works of art.”[FN 88]

The College Art Association also recommends: “all transfers into new materials, unless specifically condoned by the artist--should be considered inauthentic and counterfeit.” and “in absence of relevant laws and for moral reason, such work should: 1. Not be sold by art dealers or auctioneers. 2. Not be acquired by museums or exhibited as works of art. 3. Not be cast by foundries. 4. Be clearly identified for what they are by art historians and critics who may write about them.” and the CAA recommends: “Artists, scholars, critics and dealers should give all possible assistance in exposing the described abuses.”[FN 89]

When anyone posthumously reproduces an object and fails to disclose it as a reproduction, much less a forgery, should we not speak out against such abuses?

When anyone posthumously applies a counterfeit signature to a forgery, should we not speak out against such abuses?

When a cultural institution or museum exhibits these posthumous forgeries with counterfeit signatures applied as “sculptures” and/or as “signed” by the artist, should we not speak out against such abuses?

GEORGIA O’KEEFE AND LEWIS W. HINE
Here are two published and documented examples of similar deceptions:

1) In a New York Times published March 7, 2000 “ARTS IN AMERICA; If It's Not an O'Keeffe, Exactly What Is It? by Gretchen Reynolds, wrote in 1989 the National Gallery of Art Director J. Carter Brown referred to the mysterious discovery of a “lost” series of 28 evocative watercolors by Georgia O’Keefe (allegedly created from 1916-1918) as: “a national treasure.” Eleven years later the Santa Fe, New Mexico Georgia O’Keefe Museum curator Ms. Lynes, having done an intensive study of the paper used by O’Keefe, found that some of the paper used for these 28 O’Keefe watercolors was unavailable in the United States before 1930 and some not till the 1960’s. The dealer had to refund the $5 million purchase price. [FN 90]

2) In a New York Times published November 12, 1999 “Authenticity of Famed Photographer's Prints Scrutinized” article by Grace Gluecky, the reporter wrote of the well-known photographer Lewis W. Hine, who died in 1940 and was “socially committed artist who was concerned more with substance of his image than with their finish and was not particularly known for his skills as a printer.” In recent years “high quality prints by Lewis W. Hine” were turning up in increasing numbers. Then the recent discovery of hundreds of “unauthorized posthumous prints,” some with his signature, apparently from Hine’s original negatives was found to be printed on paper made after 1950. During Hine’s life there was no collector’s market, he signed very few photographs and if signed most were in block letters. All the photographs in questioned are signed. One dealer was quoted: “The important thing is that if there are fakes, let’s get them off the market.”[FN 91] 

These two examples of deception directly show that if at “the time the piece was made” the artist was dead then common sense would dictate that it could not authentically be attributed to that artist. The dead don't create art.

Is the issue of full and honest disclosure addressed in any state laws or statutes?

The States of California and New York are two of thirteen states in the the United States that have legislative statutes for full disclosure of print and sculpture reproductions as -reproductions- if sold for $100 or more [$1,500 threshold for sculpture reproductions in the State of New York].

CALIFORNIA CIVIL CODE STATUTES
California Civil Code Statute Section 1738 defines -artist- as: “the person who creates a work of fine art.”[FN 92] -Fine art- is defined as: “a painting, sculpture, drawing, work of graphic art (including etching, lithograph, silkscreen).”[FN 93] Section 1741 states: “This title shall apply to any fine art multiple when offered for sale or sold at wholesale or retail from one hundred dollars ($100) or more, exclusive of any frame.”[FN 94] Section 1742 (b) states: “California law provides for disclosure in writing of information -- whether the multiple is a reproduction.”[FN 95]

These California statutes directly address galleries, dealers and artists and full and honest disclosure in the sale of their art or reproductions of their art if sold for $100 or more.

NEW YORK STATUTES
§ 15.01. Full disclosure in the sale of certain visual art objects produced in multiples. "Article fifteen of the New York arts and cultural affairs law provides for disclosure in writing of certain information concerning multiples of prints and photographs when sold for more than one hundred dollars ($100) each, exclusive of any frame, and of sculpture when sold for more than fifteen hundred dollars, prior to effecting a sale of them. This law requires disclosure of such matters as the identity of the artist, the artist's signature, the medium, whether the multiple is a reproduction, the time when the multiple was produced, use of the master which produced the multiple, and the number of multiples in a 'limited edition.’”[FN 96]

Under these state statutes, the failure to give full and honest disclosure to sculpture reproductions as “reproductions” ranges in potential penalties from -refund-, -interest-, -treble damages-, -attorney fees-, -expert witness fees- and -court costs- and other serious questions of law with the penalties they may incur.

Museums, cultural institutions, may not directly be named in these statutes but should museums in California, New York and around the world, much less in Canada, be held to a lessor standard of legal and ethical disclosure than galleries, artists and dealers?

FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION
The United States Federal Trade Commission Policy Statement of Unfairness states: “A seller’s failure to present complex and technical data on his product may lessen a consumer’s ability to choose, for example, but may also reduce the initial price he must pay for the article.---Finally, the injury must be one which consumers could not reasonably have avoided.”[FN 97]

CONCLUSION
What needs to be accomplished is the full and honest disclosure of all reproductions as -reproductions- by all museums, auction houses and art dealers. If the Royal Ontario Museum, the MacLaren Art Centre, Gruppo Mondiale Est. and all other participants will give full and honest disclosure for all reproductions as: -reproductions- it would allow museum patrons to give informed consent on whether they wish to attend an exhibit of reproductions, much less pay the price of admission

But if these objects are not reproductions by definition, direct copies of the artist’s original artwork, but second-generation-removed (or more) -forgeries- with or without posthumously forged counterfeit signatures, then serious consequences of law may come into play for those who chose to misrepresent these -fakes- for profit.

The reputations and legacy of living and past artists, present and future museum art patrons and 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.



FOOTNOTES:
  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bridgeman_Art_Library_v._Corel_Corp. 
  2. http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl102.html
  3. 1981 Rodin Rediscovered ISBN 0-89468-001-3 (pbk) 
  4. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pinocchio_(1940_film)
  5. http://www.globeandmail.com/servlet/ArticleNews
  6. Ibid
  7. Ibid
  8. Ibid
  9. Ibid
  10. Ibid
  11. rodininternational.com/Posthumous.html
  12. http://dockets.justia.com/docket/court-flsdce/case_no-1:2007cv20333/case_id-290112
  13. www.2021collectionsgalleryrodin.com/ aboutthegallery.html
  14. dragonfinearts.com/index.php/events/
  15. www.rodin-art.com 
  16. dragonfinearts.com/index.php/events/
  17. From: Erin Werternberger 2021collections@bellsouth.net Subject: Rodin inquiry, Date: September 4, 2009 at 1:18 PM To: gwarseneau@hotmail.com
  18. http://www.rom.on.ca/rodin/intro.html
  19. www.rom.on.ca
  20. Copyright © 1999, By West Group, ISBN 0-314-22864-0
  21. www.maclarenart.com
  22. Copyright © 1999, By West Group, ISBN 0-314-22864-0
  23. 1981 Rodin Rediscovered ISBN 0-89468-001-3 (pbk)
  24. Copyright © Bena Mayer, Executrix of the Estate of Ralph Mayer, 1991, ISBN 0-06-461012-8 (pbk.)
  25.  www.getty.edu
  26. www.plaster2bronze.com
  27. Copyright © Bena Mayer, Executrix of the Estate of Ralph Mayer, 1991, ISBN 0-06-461012-8 (pbk.)
  28. 1981 Rodin Rediscovered ISBN 0-89468-001-3 (pbk)
  29. www.musee-rodin.fr
  30. Antoinette Romain February 2, 2000 FAX
  31. 1981 Rodin Rediscovered ISBN 0-89468-001-3 (pbk)
  32. Ibid
  33. www.rodin-art.com
  34. www.rodin-art.com
  35. www.rodin-art.com
  36. 1981 Rodin Rediscovered ISBN 0-89468-001-3 (pbk)
  37. www.rodin-art.com
  38. © 1985 by Albert E. Elsen ISBN 0-8047-1273-5, Published with the assistance of the Cantor Fitzgerald Foundation
  39. Ibid
  40. 1981 Rodin Rediscovered ISBN 0-89468-001-3 (pbk)
  41. Ibid
  42. Ibid
  43. www.getty.edu
  44. Copyright © Bena Mayer, Executrix of the Estate of Ralph Mayer, 1991, ISBN 0-06-461012-8 (pbk.)
  45. Ibid
  46. www.getty.edu
  47. Ibid
  48. Copyright © 1999, By West Group, ISBN 0-314-22864-0
  49. 1981 Rodin Rediscovered ISBN 0-89468-001-3 (pbk)
  50. Ibid
  51. www.getty.edu
  52. Copyright © 1999, By West Group, ISBN 0-314-22864-0
  53. Copyright © Bena Mayer, Executrix of the Estate of Ralph Mayer, 1991, ISBN 0-06-461012-8 (pbk.)
  54. www.getty.edu
  55. Copyright © 1999, By West Group, ISBN 0-314-22864-0
  56. www.getty.edu
  57. Copyright © 1999, By West Group, ISBN 0-314-22864-0
  58. .http://public.leginfo.state.ny.us/LAWSSEAF.cgi?QUERYTYPE=LAWS+&QUERYDATA=$$ACA11.01$$@TXACA011.01+&LIST=LAW+&BROWSER=BROWSER+&TOKEN=27067392+&TARGET=VIEW
  59. www.rom.on.ca
  60. www.sothebys.com
  61. Copyright © 1999, By West Group, ISBN 0-314-22864-0
  62. The “Declarations of Authentication” for the MacLaren Art Centre’s plasters were completed and authenticated by Dr. David Schaff. The title of the cover letter for these “Declarations” is: “Attestations of Authenticity for a Collection of Twenty one works in plaster by Auguste Rodin.”
  63. Ibid
  64. 1981 Rodin Rediscovered ISBN 0-89468-001-3 (pbk)
  65. © 2000 by IDG Books Worldwide, Inc., ISBN 0-7645-6147-2
  66. www.musee-rodin.fr
  67. © 1988 by Ste Nlle des Editions du Chene, Translation copyright © by Emily Read, ISBN 0-8050-1252-4
  68. The “Declarations of Authentication” for the MacLaren Art Centre’s plasters were completed and authenticated by Dr. David Schaff. The title of the cover letter for these “Declarations” is: “Attestations of Authenticity for a Collection of Twenty one works in plaster by Auguste Rodin.”
  69. Copyright © 1976 by the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Trade edition: ISBN 087923-157-2
  70. Publisher: Prentice Hall (October 20, 1994), ISBN-10: 0133045935, ISBN-13: 978-0133045932
  71. www.rodin-art.com/
  72. www.rodin-art.com
  73. www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap1.html#106a
  74. www.rodin-art.com
  75. Ibid
  76. Ibid
  77. Ibid
  78. Ibid
  79. Ibid
  80. Ibid
  81. Ibid
  82. http://article.wn.com/view/2001/03/29/40_Million_Donation_of_Rodin_Sculptures_Kicks_Off_ArtCity_in/
  83. © 2003 by Oxford University Press, Inc., ISBN 0-19-513380-3 (cloth)
  84. page 35, 1976 Sculpture of Auguste Rodin by John Tancock, Copyright © 1976 by the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Trade edition: ISBN 087923-157-2
  85. page 281, 1981 Rodin Rediscovered, 1981 Rodin Rediscovered ISBN 0-89468-001-3 (pbk)
  86. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=170600
  87. 1981 Rodin Rediscovered ISBN 0-89468-001-3 (pbk)
  88. www.collegeart.org/caa/ethics/sculpture.html
  89. Ibid
  90. http://www.nytimes.com/2000/03/07/arts/arts-in-america-if-it-s-not-an-o-keeffe-exactly-what-is-it.html
  91. http://www.nytimes.com/1999/11/12/arts/authenticity-of-famed-photographer-s-prints-scrutinized.html
  92. http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=civ&group=01001-02000&file=1738
  93. Ibid
  94. http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=civ&group=01001-02000&file=1740-1741
  95. http://www.search-california-law.com/research/ca/CIV/1742./Cal-Civil-Code-Section-1742/text.html
  96. http://public.leginfo.state.ny.us/LAWSSEAF.cgi?QUERYTYPE=LAWS+&QUERYDATA=$$ACA15.01$$@TXACA015.01+&LIST=LAW+&BROWSER=BROWSER+&TOKEN=27067392+&TARGET=VIEW
  97. http://www.ftc.gov/ftc-policy-statement-on-unfairness



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