As students scroll through Netflix on the weekends, they might stumble across a familiar face. Western Director of the Master in Gallery and Museum Management (MGMM) Jeffrey Taylor, Ph.D. recently made an appearance in Netflix’s documentary “Made You Look: A True Story About Fake Art” by Barry Avrich. The film centers around “the extremely complex forgery scandal that caused the collapse of New York’s oldest art gallery, Knoedler,” according to Taylor.
The Art Market and its Problems
Taylor’s expertise is “the art market and its problems” with a focus in art forgery. He is a partner in an art forensics laboratory called New York Art Forensics where he and other experts use scientific techniques like x-ray fluorescence to examine artworks. The goal of these examinations is to determine the attribution and authenticity of pieces of art.
Getting Involved in the Project
Taylor and his business partner Thiago Piwowarczyk had been contacted by several producers to appear in films about this particular case by the time Barry Avrich’s team reached out to them for interviews.
“We knew immediately they were pros,” Taylor recalled.
The interviewers asked Taylor and Thiago high-quality questions. When the two left the hotel room they were filming in and saw Anne Freedman, the anti-hero of the story and former gallery director of the Knoedler Gallery, they knew the film was going to be amazing.
“Made You Look: A True Story About Fake Art” can be enjoyed by everyone, even those with no interest in art. Taylor notes that Western students can learn how “fraud happens even in the most reputable of places, and how even elite professionals can be pulled into ethically compromised situations.”
Working at Western
As the MGMM director, Taylor helps prepare students for careers in the art business and cultural heritage industries. He teaches graduate classes in areas surrounding the art business as well as art history classes for undergraduate students.
Additionally, Taylor, Associate Professor of Graphic Design, Mayela Cardenas and a group of four MGMM students are working on a study of the US Art & Design Market through a grant provided by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).
Learn more about Western’s MGMM Program.
Author Credit: Katie Mikesell
Photo Credit: Katie Lyons