Tom Thomson? The Art of Authentication explores the myriad questions related to authenticating works of art. Without offering a conclusive yes or no, the exhibition is envisioned as a laboratory through which all of the various avenues of inquiry related to authentication are investigated and presented. Using two possible Tom Thomson panels as the nucleus, the project brings together approximately forty known sketch panels and canvases by Thomson in order to present a visual overview of the artist’s practice.
The selection of paintings will form the basis for a series of exploratory themes key to authentication, including signature, provenance, subject matter, materials and technique, and stylistic analysis. Envisioned as a highly dynamic experience, the exhibition will be accompanied by a bilingual “field guide,” and will include extensive didactic material including interviews and scientific findings courtesy of the Canadian Conservation Institute. The goal of the project is to foreground the fascinating detective work involved in authenticating works of art and in so doing make public the behind-the-scenes work museums regularly carry out.
Organized and circulated by the Art Gallery of Hamilton and the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Queens University, and in partnership with the Canadian Conservation Institute. This project is supported by the Museums Assistance Program, funded by the Government of Canada.