Fraud and Foolishness in the Art Market

The new book by Bernard Ewell.

Reviews From The Art World

Dale Sekovich- FTC

Since 1988 I have been involved in a series of fraud investigations involving the fine art market in the United States. Most of what I learned came from extensive conversations I had with Bernard Ewell, who had been retained by the FTC as an expert consultant in our investigations. Mr. Ewell’s insights and expertise have been invaluable to me and other law enforcement professionals working in this area. More importantly, since the problem of fraudulent art is far from being eradicated, the availability of this information to the public, as well as ethical art market professionals, could save thousands of consumers from being defrauded or many millions of dollars in the future.

Dale Sekovich, Senior Investigator, Los Angeles region, Federal Trade Commission.

Leona Zastrow

Great book and presentation. I am proud to be a fellow appraiser. Let us continue to seek the truth.

Leona ZastrowCertified Appraiser of Native American Art, Santa Fe, NM

Bernard Ewell

Neil Zukerman

Nice job on “Artful Dodgers!” Actually read it at one sitting. Looking forward to the next one! Thanks for the ‘tip-of-the-hat’!

Neil Zukerman Owner, CFM Gallery, NY

Bernard Ewell

llen Dodworthart

Well, by golly, the long-awaited book was well worth the wait. I’m only about 100 pages in, and can hardly wait until evening when I can get back to it. All these years as an art appraiser, I know a lot, but Bernard knows a heck of a lot more, and has certainly had (sought out) much more varied experiences than I have. Besides the autographed copy directly from the author (thank you, such kind words…) we’ve ordered another half dozen to hand out to clients and to perhaps the most knowledgeable dealer here, who will find that it reinforces all his beliefs and experience, as it does mine, and that he’ll learn from it as well. Wish I’d had this book 28 years ago!

Allen Dodworthart appraiser in Salt Lake City for over 28 years, mentored early on by Bernard

John Nichols

I have read Artful Dodgers and enjoyed it immensely. I certainly learned a lot and had many chuckles along the way. You write in an easy and flowing, comprehensive, informative, engaging and quite humorous style. As well as being very revealing the book is also entertaining. You got style and chutzpah. I was enthralled. There are huge amounts of information throughout the book that really keep it alive and fascinating. I find what you’re saying almost always quite intriguing. And always colorful. I think you’ve done a remarkable job of making info that could be kind of arcane and possibly dull, really, really alive and pointed and interesting and you’ve dealt with the material in a lay-person’s terms so that everyone can understand and appreciate the world of art, art appraisal, art chicanery.

John Nichols, author of Milagro Beanfield War; On The Mesa; The Empanada Brotherhood and twenty other books.

Paul Chimera- Dali Historian

Bernard Ewell has thoroughly researched the subject at hand, drawing upon his personal experiences as an expert court witness, appraiser, authenticator, and art sleuth. Artful Dodgers exudes that rare quality in a book of this genre in that it provides detailed analysis, historical context, and useful caveats to would-be art buyers — while also being a damn good read. The author pulls zero punches. He takes on the bad guys (and gals) without restraint — lifting up the rug on the often untidy art business to expose, and to endeavor to sweep away, some of the dirt that lies therein. And there’s been plenty of it. Ewell’s writing is lively, clear, witty and compelling. You get a vibe from this man — one that suggests too many shenanigans have gone on in this industry, and Ewell is undaunted as he shines a light on it with courage and conviction. One of the best features of Artful Dodgers is its “handbook” practicality. By that I mean it’s not just replete with interesting facts and legal cases of fraud and foolishness; it also provides practical tips to help art lovers ensure they truly understand what they’re buying — and what they’re not. I have to confess: I figured Mr. Ewell’s book would be good. He’s very experienced, very knowledgeable, very smart. But I was not expecting the book to be as comprehensive as it is, while still maintaining a kind of page-turner excitement of a popular novel. It was a long time in the making, but Artful Dodgers was worth the wait.

Paul ChimeraDali historian, writer, adjunct journalism professor, based in Buffalo, New York. Blogger at

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