Holy Hoaxes: a beautiful Deception. Celebrating William Voelkle's Collecting

William Voelkle, Curator Emeritus of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts at the Morgan Library and Museum, retired in September after fifty years at this illustrious institution. The present exhibition celebrates one of "Bill's" life-long passions - the collection of fakes and forgeries he assembled over nearly five decades. His role in establishing the fame of the Spanish Forger is well-known from the 1978 exhibition (and monograph) on this artist at the Morgan, making the Spanish Forger one of the only forgers in history to benefit from a one-man show at a major museum.

Works exhibited are widely diverse. In addition to the Spanish Forger, they include illuminations sold as "real" but unmasked as fakes by Bill or other of his art-historian colleagues. One such is a majestic Romanesque leaf of Christ in Majesty. There are German panel paintings, Coptic leaves once regarded as the earliest Coptic manuscript with notation (now known to be fake); Italian, French, and Flemish forgeries; Indian (by the Erotica Master), Islamic, and Mexican forgeries. The exhibition will consider the sometimes-fine line between copies and forgeries.

NOTHING IS FOR SALE (WHAT PRICE CAN ONE PUT ON A "BEAUTIFUL DECEPTION"!)