An Evening with Author Laney Salisbury, March 12, 2013, Metropolitan Club, 640 Sutter Street, San Francisco, CA 94102.
Concord Festival of Authors, “Hoaxes, Frauds and Forgeries,” talk, Q&A, and signing, Oct. 22, 2010.
Talk and signing at 2010 Literary Tastes at the American Library Associations 2010 Annual Conference, Washington, D.C., June 27, 2010
Talk and signing at Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa, Okla., May 28, 2010
Panel discussion “Falling in Love with your Research,” Mystery Writers of America, Edgar Symposium, April 28, 2010, Light House International, New York, N.Y.
Book signing, Literary Lights annual benefit, The Barrett Bookstore and Greenwich Arts Council, Greenwich, CT., Nov. 12, 2009
1) There are more con artists among us than we realize, according to sociologists and criminologists. Have you ever been taking in by a con and,
if so, what made you vulnerable? In hindsight, did you sense something was wrong but talk yourself out of it?
2) Most of us are law-abiding citizens and play by the rules that ensure a smooth functioning of society. What were your reactions to Drewe’s audacity?
Admiration? Disgust? Do con men tend to elicit complex reactions? Think of Bernard Madoff.
3) From a moral perspective, do you consider Drewe’s crime of art fraud different from other types of fraud, for example a used car dealer knowingly selling a lemon or somebody impersonating a doctor? Do you think his sentence was adequate?
4) Many of Myatt’s fakes were either authenticated or approved by art experts as genuine. If a forged work of art is executed well enough to fool a scholar or a curator, should the authenticity of the work matter?
5) Many of Myatt’s forgeries have changed hands over the past several years. If you knew you owned a fake, would you resell that work without disclosure?
Would it make a difference if the work had been authenticated?
6) Before the con, Myatt was a failed painter. Now, he is a well-known artist, with a successful business painting and selling “legitimate fakes.”
He has also had several successful public exhibitions. Should he profit from his crime?
7) Myatt and Drewe’s scam raised important issues about how the marketplace values art. Often a poorly executed painting by a well-known artist will have a market value greater than a superior painting by an unknown. If you loved a certain priceless Picasso which you could not afford, would you prefer an expert replica of that work or a critically unimportant one by him?
8) For nearly two years John Drewe appeared satisfied buying works from Myatt and selling them as originals without the painter’s knowledge.
What do you think were Drewe’s motivations for disclosing his scam and asking Myatt to be a witting partner in crime?
9) Do you view Myatt as a perpetrator or a victim? Did his desperation at the time he met Drewe lessen his culpability?
Who were the victims in this crime and in what way?
10) Do you believe Drewe committed arson? If so, other than simply trying to cover up the scam, what character trait would lead him to commit this crime as well?
Or are the character traits for both crimes similar?
11) Drewe assumes and casts off various identities, including physicist, professor, art researcher, secret agent. Do you think Drewe was driven by a lack of self-identity or mere avarice?
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