Columbia Prof Says the Met Got Duped

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While the curators of the hallowed Metropolitan Museum of Art felt pretty confident when they dropped $45 million on a Renaissance Masterpiece, CU art history professor James Beck just called them suckers: he’s convinced that this painting’s a fake.

Read the full story in the Times.

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  1. student

    according to what he told his class last fall, he tried to "warn" them well before the purchase.

  2. i am

    so in love with james beck.

  3. The motive?

    From the last paragaph of the Times article:

    Professor Beck recently completed a book, "Connoisseurship in Crisis: From Duccio to Raphael," to be published next month by European Press Academic Publishing in Florence.

  4. Splogette!

    That story was awesome when it was news two days ago.

  5. wonder

    what maryan ainsworth has to say about this... she's a curator at the met and also an adjunct prof at columbia who teaches a course called "intro to connoisseurship"!

  6. seriously?

    first step to being a conoisseur: take the core and be able to speak of literary and philosophical matters pretentiously

    second step: take a cu bartending course and be able to mix a stiff cocktail

    third: take "intro to conoisseurship"

  7. Jeff P

    there's a crappy ArtWatch documentary on Beck and how all art restoration (save the Russian variety) is an evil, horrible thing. Seeing the shots of the Sistina before and after, it's hard to argue.

    But I just went to look at this on Thursday and it honestly doesn't look very much like the known Duccio's. The baby's head is way too small and there's a parapet in the foreground which is pretty anachronistic for Duccio.

  8. Lance

    James Beck is fundamentaly immature and insecure. He typically rallies half-educated neophites to hysterics about non-issues in the art world. Because he lacks the aptitude for the science of Art Conservation and is so prejudice against true scholarship, he never really looks at the facts- starting with the art itself.

    The real victims are his students, who will likewise never be taken seriously in the field.

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