Art Fraud Insights, LLC is committed to promoting scholarship in the field. To that end, we award two scholarships per year to candidates who are currently writing dissertations on the topic of fakes and forgeries in the art world. If you are interested in being considered for a future scholarship, please send a brief synopsis of your current research and bio to Colette@artfraudinsights.com



Association for Research into Crimes against Art (ARCA)

Postgraduate certificate program in the study of art crime and cultural heritage protection.

Charlotte Britton received a 2017 scholarship to present her thesis Forging a Double Life; Creating an Artist for the Purpose of Fraud at ARCA’s 2018 Interdisciplinary Art Crime Conference in Amelia, Italy (June 22-23) 


This thesis aims to fill a gap in the current scholarship on art forgery. It will analyze an unusual form of forgery that consists of an artist being created for the purpose of promoting counterfeit art. This is a relatively understudied concept, perhaps because of its rarity. The case of Pietro Psaier, a forgery masterminded by the professional criminal John Fairchild, will be compared to two art hoaxes where an artist was similarly created for the purpose of deception. The forgery is considered illicit whilst the hoaxes are not, however, they each bare a number of similarities in their motivations, circumstances, and outcomes. The conclusion drawn from analysis of these elements will establish that the conduct of the creator is central to the perception of their activity as either mischievous or malicious. This has implications with regards to the extent that that activity should be considered criminal.



Ph.D. Candidate, University of Melbourne’s Center for Cultural Materials Conservation, Australia

Felicity Strong, a 2015 scholarship recipient, received a scholarship for a second year to present her thesis, Exhibiting Inauthentic: The Intent to Deceive at the 2016 Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum Conference in Mainz, Germany on March 3, 2016.

“Thanks to the generosity of Art Fraud Insights I was able to attend and speak at the “Museums – Places of authenticity?” International and interdisciplinary conference of the Leibniz Research Network Historical authenticity held in Mainz, 3 and 4 March 2016. The conference brought together over 150 museum professionals, academics and practitioners from around Germany and Europe. Papers were given in both English and German and I was able to listen presentations by curators from the Historic Royal Palace (UK) and the Kassásk Museum Budapest, as well as scholars from Kent State University (US), The University of Manchester (UK), and the University of Stirling (UK). An interesting theme to come out of the discussions was the idea of truth in museums and audience perceptions of what is being displayed, relevant issues to my own studies in art forgery. The town of Mainz is also home to the stunning Chagall windows in the St Stephan’s Church and the Gutenberg Museum, which houses two Gutenberg Bibles, located inside a walk-in bank vault! It was a valuable two days and I look forward to continuing the networks I made during the conference.”



M.S. Economic and Management of Art and Cultural Activities, Universta Ca’ Forscari of Venice

Federica’s thesis, Alceo Dossena and the problem of twentieth-century Rome, analyzes the problem of illegal exportation in Italy dating back to the beginning of the twentieth century, with the treatise of the Italian legislation. Informed by her research at the Archivio Centrale di Stato in Rome, Federica’s inquiry focuses on the case and biographical history of Alceo Dossena (1878-1937), whose story – and notoriety – are bound up in the sale of his sculptures and reliefs to American museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of New York, the Frick Collection and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Through an in-depth study of 20 high profile sales of his work made between 1920 and 1930, this dissertation attempts to ascertain the provenance of these works and to reconstruct the chronology of events. In particular, through the study and citation of private letters of the directors and curators of these museums, this thesis aims to reveal the hidden history of the modes of acquisition, installation and removal of these important works.


Ph.D. Candidate, University of Melbourne’s Center for Cultural Materials Conservation, Australia

Felicity’s thesis, [Re]framing the crime: the case for the collection and exhibition of art forgery, argues that the public perception of art forgery has long been dominated by popular culture representations and subject to simplification in the media. This is a domestic and international problem with implications for the policing and regulation of the art market. Research indicates that the mythology surrounding an art forger is further propagated in fiction and non-fictionalized accounts, and influences how the public discusses issues relating to art forgery. Moreover, the unregulated art marketplace and the opacity of its dealings tend to make negative results of forgery in the art market almost impossible to quantify. This thesis explores an art historical intervention in the form of the exhibition and collection of inauthentic objects, and assesses this approach’s potential to help combat some of the cultural heritage issues and market based concerns in the Australian context.