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Meridith Savona photographed at FBI headquarters in New York City on February 26, 2016. KATHERINE MCMAHON

Anything Can Break Bad: An FBI Special Agent Has Learned the Difference Between the Art World and the Mafia

With a gun in her holster and her mind in art history, FBI Special Agent Meridith Savona has been investigating art crimes for the FBI’s New York office major-crimes unit since 2010. She has seen her fair share of fraudsters … Read More


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Natalia Goncharova, Espagnole, 1916, which sold for a record $10.2 million at Christie’s in 2010. Genuine high-quality works like these are few. COURTESY CHRISTIE’S

Avant-Garde Fairy Tales: Russian Avant-Garde Research Project Seeks to Untangle Facts, Fakes, and Fictions

Scandals have never been in short supply in the world of Russian avant-garde art, but the last few years have seen a bumper crop, with the controversial arrest of a respected Russian curator on fraud charges and, more recently, the … Read More


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When Felonies Become Form: The Secret History of Artists Who Use Lawbreaking as Their Medium

Artists have long gotten away with murder, sometimes literally. After Benvenuto Cellini killed his rival, the goldsmith Pompeo de Capitaneis, in 1534, Pope Paul III—a Cellini fan—reportedly pardoned the Florentine artist, declaring that men like him “ought not to be … Read More


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American Beauty: Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, and the Case of the Missing Flag

Robert Rauschenberg kept only one major example of his earliest, most influential body of work, the Combine paintings he made between 1954 and 1961. Short Circuit (1955) is similar to other works from the period; it incorporates sculptural elements with … Read More


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The Crime Issue

An investigation into some of the more colorful art-related indiscretions in recent years, as well as a look at the aesthetics of crime and punishment Read More


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Bank Robber Aiming at Security Camera, Cleveland, Ohio, March 8, 1975, on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's exhibition "Crime Stories: Photography and Foul Play," on view until July 31.

Theft! Forgery! Murder!: Art History’s Greatest Crimes

From the earliest moments of recorded civilization there have been instances of art being the subject of violence, theft, and destruction. Art and crime will forever be linked, and this should come as no surprise—art is a powerful tool for … Read More


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Ann Freedman and her defense team. ILLUSTRATION: VICTOR JUHASZ

The Big Fake: Behind the Scenes of Knoedler Gallery’s Downfall

Domenico and Eleanore De Sole live most of the year in Hilton Head, South Carolina. Domenico is originally from Calabria, and he grew up in a military family, moving all around Italy. He got a law degree from Harvard in … Read More


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The Composer: Mary Heilmann’s Rhythmic Abstractions Find Their Place in the Sun

Some little girls want to be movie stars, some long to be prima ballerinas. Not Mary Heilmann. As a child, she prayed for sainthood. “I used to dream that I was thrown to lions in the Coliseum,” said the artist. … Read More


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Kerry James Marshall photographed in his Chicago studio on December 28, 2015. ©KATHERINE MCMAHON

The Painter of Modern Life: Kerry James Marshall Aims to Get More Images of Black Figures into Museums

The artist will be the subject of major traveling retrospective this year Read More


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Faith Ringgold photographed in New Jersey on November 23, 2015. KATHERINE MCMAHON

The Storyteller: At 85, Her Star Still Rising, Faith Ringgold Looks Back on Her Life in Art, Activism, and Education

In 1963, Faith Ringgold was 32, the mother of two daughters, and on the hunt for a gallery to show her work. To say that it was difficult for black artists to find gallery representation at that time would be … Read More


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The Icons Issue

Five artists who have transformed the art world over the last 50 years Read More


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The Shape-Shifter: How Lynda Benglis Left the Bayou and Messed With the Establishment

You notice her face first. This is odd, because she’s nude, her body bronzed and oiled, with one wiry arm holding a large double-sided dildo between her legs. Her eyes aren’t even in play; a pair of white sunglasses covers … Read More


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The Devil in the Details: Kenneth Anger, the Inventor of a Celluloid Avant-Garde, Nears 90

With his films moving from fringe theaters to MoMA, the director grants a rare interview at his old Hollywood haunts Read More


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From Planes to Brains to Outer Space and Ruscha: Paul Allen’s All-Embracing Aesthetic Fills His Newest Exhibition Space

More than a quarter of the world’s top 200 art collectors maintain their own museums or exhibition spaces, according to ARTnews. Microsoft’s co-founder, Seattle billionaire Paul Allen, is now a member of this elite coterie. After his propitious launch of … Read More