Fairfield’s Philip Eliasoph, PhD, Featured on Art and Crime Podcast

Fairfield’s Philip Eliasoph, PhD, Featured on Art and Crime Podcast

Portrait of Paul Guillaume, by Amedeo Modigliani.

Portrait of Paul Guillaume, by Amedeo Modigliani. The artist is widely regarded as one the most forged painters in history.

As a guest on “That Said With Michael Zeldin,” the longtime Fairfield art history prof dished with distinguished German authors Stefan Koldenhoff and Tobias Timm about “art market shenanigans” both old and new.

Philip Eliasoph, PhD, professor of art history and visual culture in the College of Arts and Sciences, recently weighed in as an academic expert on “That Said With Michael Zeldin.” Podcast host Michael Zeldin is a fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School Institute of Politics. As a TV legal analyst since 1996, Zeldin has covered everything from the OJ Simpson murder trial to the Mueller Special Counsel investigation. 

What ensued during Dr. Eliasoph’s appearance on Zeldin's podcast was a fascinating conversation with Stefan Koldenhoff and Tobias Timm about their book, Art and Crime: The Fight Against Looters, Forgers, and Fraudsters in the High-Stakes Art World.

In the podcast linked below, the lively discussion covered everything from fakery in the avant-garde Russian art market, to Modigliani and Basquiat forgeries, to the debate swirling around DaVinci’s heavily restored Salvator Mundi panel.

The conversation touched upon nefarious art consultants, oligarch collectors, money launderers, and art thieves, before turning to the controversial, Covid pandemic-induced market for NFT [non-fungible-token] art, which has infiltrated the $70 billion annual global art market. “Is it art at all?” asked Dr. Eliasoph of the collectible, unique, non-transferable digital assets that cannot be duplicated.

As art world professionals, Dr. Eliasoph noted that he and his art history faculty colleagues and Fairfield University Art Museum team members have an obligation to serve as watchdogs for increasingly “under the radar” transactions of artworks and antiquities outside of public scrutiny or civil law. “Fairfield prides itself in our art history and museum studies classes, for exposing the unethical and nefarious aspects that too often soil the art world's many gifts to our common human destiny," he said.

Alongside the College of Arts and Sciences’ lectures and classes, such as “Art, Ethics, and the Law,” that explore the subject of art looting and theft, “this podcast is the latest in Fairfield’s rich offerings on the topic,” said Professor Marice Rose '92, PhD, director of the Visual and Performing Arts department.

Frequently contacted as an art history subject expert, Dr. Eliasoph has written more than 400 classroom-linked art reviews for nytimesineducation.com, The New York Times' global education platform. Since 2017, he has served as the Times’ faculty consultant, curating weekly reviews for its Arts & Visual Culture online postings. “Inevitably,” he said, “being on the 'art beat' requires vigilant exploration whenever fraudulence, counterfeiting, or shadowy art dealings challenge our good faith and ethical standards in this complicated, non-regulated arena.”

Art and Crime Podcast:“That Said With Michael Zeldin”

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