Dr. Eastaugh and Dr. Nadolny are available for media appearances and public lectures.
In 2011, the work AA&R was mentioned extensively in the context of the so-called “Jaeger’s forgery” scandal, which saw the conviction of a German art forgery ring that had saturated the art market with an estimated 30 million pounds worth of forged paintings over the last decades. While working as a private consultant, AA&R’s Head of Research, Dr. Nicholas Eastaugh, was one of the first specialists to identify as a fake a work by the leader of the ring, Wolfgang Beltracchi. Subsequently, AA&R has investigated a number of further works, allowing us extensive insight into the materials and methods common to this group of forgeries. A selection of on-line publications describing the case is listed below:
The Guardian (in English)
Der Spiegel (in English)
The Art News Paper
Television Appearances, 2011
In 2011, AA&R was featured in three programs investigating the authenticity of works of art. We were happy to participate, in order to raise public awareness of the potential of technical study to enhance the investigation of paintings and are encouraged by the increasing recognition of the importance of technical research.
The programs (in chronological order) are as follows:
- Fake or Fortune: Monet, BBC 2, 3 August 2011.
- Hidden Paintings: Southwest (Alfred Wallis), BBC 1, 26 June 2011.
- Jane Austen: The Unseen Portrait?, BBC 2, 26 December, 2011.
Full details and content summaries of the programs may be found below.
Title: Fake or Fortune: Monet
Series: Fake or Fortune
Shown on: BBC 2, 3 August 2011
AA&R Summary: AA&R was asked to undertake technical imaging and paint analysis on a disputed Monet painting, privately owned. Additional work turned up numerous technical details consistent with Monet’s authorship, including an extensive palette and use of an underdrawing in charcoal. Unfortunately, little of the technical results were presented in the final production, which features brief clips of Nicholas Eastaugh imaging the painting.
Summary from the BBC website: “Journalist Fiona Bruce teams up with art expert Philip Mould to investigate mysteries behind paintings. It is a world of subterfuge and intrigue as they grapple with complex battles often unseen beneath the apparently genteel art establishment. Their sleuthing takes them from New York to Cairo and Cape Town as they unpick clues behind stolen and contested works of art, and unmask the work of a master forger along the way. In the opening episode, Fiona and Philip discover what they believe is an unrecognised and valuable painting by Monet. But can they convince the powers that be?
In the art world Monet means money. Wealthy collectors will bid tens of millions of pounds to own a painting by this famous Impressionist who, perhaps more than any other artist, has managed to captivate the world. But in order to make millions, paintings thought to be by Monet must have been accepted into the official register; the catalogue raisonne – a five-volume tome which lists every acknowledged Monet in existence. The catalogue is published not by an academic institution, but by a family of art collectors and art dealers; the Wildensteins. For the last 18 years art collector David has been imploring the Institute to accept his painting as a genuine Monet. Despite his research and support of some of the world’s heavyweight Monet scholars, Guy Wildenstein refuses to accept the painting. Philip Mould and Fiona Bruce join forces with the world’s most prestigious art galleries and research institutes in an effort to prove the attribution of this painting. The challenge: to gather enough evidence to convince the Wildensteins to include it in the great book- the Monet catalogue raisonne. A difference that would make a huge difference to the value of the picture too. Along the way, we enlist the help of some of the world’s greatest art galleries… we follow a fascinating and far-reaching provenance trail which takes us from Monet’s beloved banks on the River Seine near Paris, to a grand mansion on the Nile – home of a wealthy Egyptian collector with an expensive taste in French art.”
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0125bz7 (consulted 4 January, 2012).
Running time: 1 hour
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0125bz7 (BBC information)
Series Producer: Simon Shaw
Presenter: Philip Mould
Presenter: Fiona Bruce
Director: Nicky Illis
Producer: Nicky Illis
Title: Hidden Paintings: Southwest
Series: Hidden Paintings
Production Company: Televisionary
Shown on: BBC 1, 26 June 2011
AA&R Summary: AA&R was asked to examine two paintings by Alfred Wallis with an eye to determining whether or not they were likely to be authentic. Technical study and infrared imaging revealed that the works were likely fakes, and opinion which was corroborated by Robert Jones, the art historical specialist on Wallis also consulted for the program. AA&R’s research thus played a decisive role in identifying the paintings as later works in the style of Wallis. In the programme, Nicholas Eastaugh discusses technical protocols and the results of the analysis with Curtis Dowling, who visits the AA&R laboratory.
Summary from the BBC website: “Art expert Curtis Dowling puts enigmatic Cornish artist Alfred Wallis under the microscope in Hidden Paintings of the South West. Curtis Dowling goes in search of the intriguing stories behind the South West’s hidden paintings in a programme inspired by Your Paintings, a major new arts initiative from the BBC. In the programme, forgery expert Curtis uncovers two paintings that appear to be by the legendary Cornish mariner-turned-artist Alfred Wallis – but are they genuine? Curtis meets art and technical experts and views public collections to try to help him authenticate the pictures before they go to auction in London. Along the way the pictures in the public collections will help him explain how Wallis’s work helped turn Cornwall into such a magnet for artists over the decades.” http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b012721l (consulted 4 January, 2012).
Running time: 30 minutes
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b012721l (BBC information)
Presenter: Curtis Dowling
Director: Linda Parkhurst
Producer: Jeremy Hibbard
Title: Jane Austen: The Unseen Portrait?
Shown on: BBC 2, 26 December, 2011
AA&R Summary: A drawing supposed to be a contemporary portrait of Jane Austen was found by Paula Byrne, who embarked on a research project which forms the substance of this documentary. As part of her investigations, the drawing was submitted to AA&R for investigation, which found that it was rendered in what appears to be in a black chalk, on vellum, with highlights rendered in a white paint composed of barium sulfate bound in a water soluble binder. The identification of these materials was critical in providing a terminus ante quem of the 1870s for the drawing. Evidence from historical documentary sources on pigment production indicate that that the use of barium sulfate as a white pigment for paint manufacture began in the early nineteenth century, but was gradually supplanted in the latter half of the century by another recently developed white pigment, zinc white, to the extent that by 1870, “barium white” was rarely, if ever, used as the exclusive colorant in paint formulations. While formerly used as a primary pigment in white paints, later, it later served primarily as a fill material, used in conjunction with other white pigments, but not alone.
In the programme, Nicholas Eastaugh discusses technical protocols and the results of the analysis with Paula at the AA&R laboratory.
Summary from the BBC website: “Jane Austen is one of the most celebrated writers of all time but apart from a rough sketch by her sister Cassandra, we have very little idea what she looked like. Biographer Dr Paula Byrne thinks that is about to change. She believes she has come across a possible portrait of the author, lost to the world for nearly two centuries. Can the picture stand up to forensic analysis and scrutiny by art historians and world leading Austen experts? How might it change our image of the author? And what might the portrait reveal about Jane Austen and her world? Martha Kearney seeks answers as she follows Dr Byrne on her quest.” http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b018nz2x (consulted 4 January, 2012).
Running time: 1 hour
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b018nz2x (BBC information)
Presenter: Martha Kearney
Participant: Paula Byrne
Director: Neil Crombie
Producer: Neil Crombie
Executive Producer: Liz Hartford