Considering Evidence in Art Fraud
This chapter examines the standard investigatory hierarchy that is generally called into play when a work is presented as being problematic. It outlines the processes that are necessary when one of these three platforms, the provenance, the history, or the materials and techniques, is shown to be problematic. It examines provenance as both a corruptible and non-corruptible form of evidence; art history as a form of scholarship that can be rigorous and effective, or subjective and problematic; and scientific enquiry as an interdisciplinary tool which may provide additional information, or which may present results that lead to unsatisfactory conclusions. An assessment of the nature of evidence, and its role in art fraud investigations, draws together the discussions of these three investigatory and evidential platforms. In short, the two platforms of evidence, truth and proof, can only be understood in context, and data is not evidence until it can be securely used to inform a hypothesis.