February 21, 2012

The Journal of Art Crime, Fall 2011: Aviva Briefel on "Imperfect Doubles: the Forger and the Copyist"

Aviva Briefel, an Associate Professor of English at Bowdoin University, has published “Imperfect Doubles: The Forger and the Copyist” in the Fall 2011 issue of The Journal of Art Crime, the first peer-reviewed journal on the interdisciplinary study of art crime.

Here is the abstract of the article:
The nineteenth-century forger emerged as an unlikely model of middle-class selfhood, embodying the bourgeois ideals of industriousness, education and thrift. More than this, he offered an example for living in a capitalistic society without being contaminated by it. Although his artistic productions supplied a market demand, he escaped the charge of base materialism. Representations of the forger were rigorously gendered; he was always male. The forger embodied a set of prized masculine values that had to be guarded from female intrusion. Contemporary literary, artistic, and journalistic texts constructed the figure of the female copyist to guard the parameters of faking. The depicted the copyist as the forger’s imperfect double; while their work methods were often the same, they were separated by a world of difference.
Aviva Briefel is the author of The Deceivers: Art Forgery and Identity in the Nineteenth Century (Cornell University Press, 2006) and co-editor of Horror after 9/11: World of Fear, Cinema of Terror (University of Texas Press, 2011). She is currently at work on a book titled Amputations: The Colonial Hand at the Fin de Si├Ęcle.

The 2011 Fall Issue of the Journal of Art Crime is available as an electronic journal through subscription at ARCA’s website here.