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Recommendations for the ROM Updated Aug 30.22

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Great Canadian Art Fraud Case
The Group of Seven and Tom Thomson Forgeries
By (author): Jon S. Dellandrea
Jon S. Dellandrea

Imprint:

Goose Lane Editions

ISBN:

9781773102535

Product Form:

Hardcover
Hardcover
English

Audience:

General Trade
Oct 18, 2022
$45.00 CAD
Forthcoming

Dimensions:

10in x 7.5 x 0.69 in | 816.47 gr

Page Count:

176 pages

Illustrations:

74 colour photographs and reproductions, 19 B&W archival photographs
Goose Lane Editions
ART / Canadian
  • Short Description

In May 2016, Jon S. Dellandrea came into possession of a box of the last effects of an obscure artist, William Firth MacGregor. The contents of the box chronicled a major, and long forgotten, trial involving forgeries of the art of Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven.

The Great Canadian Art Fraud Case takes readers back to 1962, a time when forgeries were turning up on gallery walls, in auction houses, and (unwittingly) being hung in the homes of luminaries across Canada. Inspector James Erskine, enlisting the help of A.J. Casson, the youngest living member of the Group of Seven, set out to discover where the forgeries were coming from. Fifty years later, Dellandrea follows Erskine’s hunt to the end, uncovering the masterminds behind the forgeries.

Lavishly illustrated with reproductions and archival images, The Great Canadian Art Fraud Case unravels the mystery of the greatest art fraud trial in Canadian history. Along the way, it also tells the story of a talented artist whose career might have been so very different.

In May 2016, Jon S. Dellandrea came into possession of a box of the last effects of an obscure artist, William Firth MacGregor. The contents of the box chronicled a major, and long forgotten, trial involving forgeries of the art of Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven.

The Great Canadian Art Fraud Case takes readers back to 1962, a time when forgeries were turning up on gallery walls, in auction houses, and (unwittingly) being hung in the homes of luminaries across Canada. Inspector James Erskine, enlisting the help of A.J. Casson, the youngest living member of the Group of Seven, set out to discover where the forgeries were coming from. Fifty years later, Dellandrea follows Erskine’s hunt to the end, uncovering the masterminds behind the forgeries.

Lavishly illustrated with reproductions and archival images, The Great Canadian Art Fraud Case unravels the mystery of the greatest art fraud trial in Canadian history. Along the way, it also tells the story of a talented artist whose career might have been so very different.

  • The untold story of Dellandrea’s “unlikely journey” as an historian into one of the greatest art frauds in Canadian history.
  • Dellandrea unearthed archival documents and recordings related to the original investigation.
  • William Firth MacGregor was a contemporary of the Group of Seven and taught alongside Frederick Varley in the 1920s.

  • Digital ARCs.
  • National and specialty media relations, including art, investigative, and true crime: interviews, essays.
  • National print and digital advertising, major publications.
  • Pre-publication excerpts in national magazines.
  • Social media campaign and paid boosting focused targeting key audiences.
  • In-person touring and events where possible, and virtual events.
  • Co-op available.   

For more information contact
[email protected]

“True crime meets high art in Jon S. Dellandrea’s riveting and essential investigation into a national ‘art-history-mystery.’ This daring book shows how the Canadian art market and its insidious twin, the black market in fakes and forgeries, grew up together and remain connected. Dellandrea masterfully lights up the pixels of Canadian history to reveal an exciting and uncomfortable image hidden within our country’s cultural mythology. You have to read this story to believe it.” - Joshua Knelman, author of Hot Art

“Jon S. Dellandrea has given us a lively account of his adventures in the art world, as he tracks down the story of a major forgery racket in 1960s Toronto. I was fascinated by his gallery of gifted artists, slippery dealers, gullible customers, and a dogged police officer. His research is impressive and his reflections on the real victims of art fraud are provocative.” - Charlotte Gray, author of Murdered Midas

“Beyond fascinating. Endlessly intriguing. Dellandrea’s book is the ultimate mix of crime, art, and salacious, delicious detail that you can’t stop reading.” - Barry Avrich, Director/Producer of Made You Look

“Was the last Group of Seven painting you looked at a fake? Quite possibly, according to Jon S. Dellandrea. Packed with art, history, case examples, careful examinations, and jaw-dropping details about how crime has been part of the Canadian cultural ecosystem, The Great Canadian Art Fraud Case reveals why for decades scholars, auction houses, galleries, and museums have turned a blind eye to felonies in plain sight.” - Sara Angel, Executive Director, The Art Canada Institute

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