ARH 393 Copies, Forgeries and Fakes

This class examines Western culture’s obsession with originality by examining what many people understand to be its opposite: the copy. Despite the bias against them, copies play a pivotal role in the history of art, from Roman copies of Greek sculptures to the role of copying in artists’ training to reproductive art forms such as prints and photographs that are, in effect, “copies.” Closely related to the concept of the copy are forgeries and fakes, which present themselves as “originals” yet destabilize the very foundations of the term. Ultimately, the class addresses how we establish notions of artistic value by looking at the overlooked.