How to Reel in Crowds?
Show Them a Fake Painting!
To overcome this obstacle, the Mariners’ Museum in Newport News, Va., hit on a novel solution for its new exhibition of his work:
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Toss in a forgery and challenge museum visitors to sniff it out from among the 34 genuine Buttersworth works.
When it came down to it, he added, he was not even sure how to acquire a forgery.
At this point, help arrived from a man who has agreed to identify himself only as “a friend of the museum.” (Because his name appears as a lender on the wall text of the forged painting, providing it here might give away the secret to visitors).
The friend took on the assignment of securing a forged Buttersworth, which proved to be relatively easy, since, when it comes to bogus Buttersworths, nearly all roads lead to one man: Ken Perenyi.
For years, Mr. Perenyi studied and imitated the work of Buttersworth, turning a tidy profit by selling his paintings to unsuspecting dealers and collectors. He is not shy about this.