Faking the Ancient Andes

Faking the Ancient Andes

Book - 2010
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This is an important accessible introduction to pre-Columbian art fraud of South America for archaeologists, art historians, and museum professionals alike.

& Francis Publishing

Nasca pots, Quimbaya figurines, Moche porn figures, stone shamans. Fakes and forgeries run rampant in the Andean art collections of international museums and private individuals. Authors Karen Bruhns and Nancy Kelker examine the phenomenon in this eye-opening volume. They discuss the most commonly forged classes and styles of artifacts, many of which were being duplicated as early as the 19th century. More important, they describe the system whereby these objects get made, purchased, authenticated, and placed in major museums as well as the complicity of forgers, dealers, curators, and collectors in this system. Unique to this volume are biographies of several of the forgers, who describe their craft and how they are able to effectively fool connoisseurs and specialists. This is an important accessible introduction to pre-Columbian art fraud for archaeologists, art historians, and museum professionals alike. A parallel volume by the same authors discusses fakes in Mesoamerican archaeology.

Book News
Bruhns (director, Cihuatán/Las Marías Archaeological Project, El Salvador) and Kelker (art history, Middle Tennessee State U.) have written a volume both entertaining and dismaying to read. Tales of forgers and their victims, the impact of looting on archaeological sites, and the ongoing and astonishingly prolific production of fakes are described, as are the low standards of enforcement routinely applied to non-Western works of art. The authors have published a companion volume, concerning fakes of ancient Mesoamerica. Of practical use to anthropologists and archaeologists in the field, the volume is a cautionary tale to collectors and art historians. Annotation ©2010 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Publisher: Walnut Creek, Calif. : Left Coast Press, c2010
ISBN: 9781598743951
Branch Call Number: 980.01 BRU 2010
Characteristics: 220 p. : ill. ; 23 cm
Additional Contributors: Kelker, Nancy L.


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