• Provenance

  • How a Con Man and a Forger Rewrote the History of Modern Art
  • By: Laney Salisbury, Aly Sujo
  • Narrated by: Marty Peterson
  • Length: 8 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 31-12-09
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Audible Studios
  • 4 out of 5 stars 4.0 (28 ratings)


Here is a tautly paced investigation of one the 20th century's most audacious art frauds, which generated hundreds of forgeries - many of them still hanging in prominent museums and private collections today. Provenance is the extraordinary narrative of one of the most far-reaching and elaborate deceptions in art history. Investigative reporters Laney Salisbury and Aly Sujo brilliantly recount the tale of a great con man and unforgettable villain, John Drewe, and his sometimes unwitting accomplices. Chief among those was the struggling artist John Myatt, a vulnerable single father who was manipulated by Drewe into becoming a prolific art forger. Once Myatt had painted the pieces, the real fraud began. Drewe managed to infiltrate the archives of the upper echelons of the British art world in order to fake the provenance of Myatt's forged pieces, hoping to irrevocably legitimize the fakes while effectively rewriting art history.
The story stretches from London to Paris to New York, from tony Manhattan art galleries to the esteemed Giacometti and Dubuffet associations, to the archives at the Tate Gallery. This enormous swindle resulted in the introduction of at least 200 forged paintings, some of them breathtakingly good and most of them selling for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Many of these fakes are still out in the world, considered genuine and hung prominently in private houses, large galleries, and prestigious museums. And the sacred archives, undermined by John Drewe, remain tainted to this day.
Provenance reads like a well-plotted thriller, filled with unforgettable characters and told at a breakneck pace. But this is most certainly not fiction; Provenance is the meticulously researched and captivating account of one of the greatest cons in the history of art forgery.
©2009 Laney Salisbury; (P)2009 Audible, Inc.
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Critic reviews

"Salisbury and Sujo (who died in 2008) evoke with flair the plush art world and its penetration by the seductive Drewe as well as the other players in this fascinating art drama." (Publishers Weekly)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Karolina on 26-05-11

Fascinating Tale

The story itself was very interesting and I really enjoyed it. The only thing that spoiled it for me were the narrator's persistent mispronunciations. Southwark to rhyme with South Fork for instance and really, clique rhymes with week not wick. A British narrator would have made much better sense for a story based in the UK.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Amazon Customer on 16-03-16

Awful accent

An interesting and absorbing story but spoilt by the awful robotic, American accent and pronunciations

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Andy on 26-04-10

reads like a thriller

Terrific story behind a massive series of art swindles in the 1990's by a couple of somewhat talented gentlemen. The authors provide such great detail, you can feel as if you are looking over the shoulder of the swindler. Solid narration makes the audio book even more enjoyable.

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18 of 18 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Cathy Carmack on 24-10-11

Good story, annoying reader.

This was a good story, which I enjoyed listening to, but I have to admit that if the story hadn't been so good, I would have stopped listening. I found the reader annoying. Her voice, and voice quality, just didn't seem to match the book/story in my mind.

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7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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