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'Black Admiral' Painting Found to Be a Fraud
npr ^ | May 11, 2006 | unknown

Posted on 05/18/2006 7:09:08 PM PDT by tbird5

A portrait of a dashing young sea captain often called the "Black Admiral" was supposed to be a centerpiece for an exhibition of paintings from the Revolutionary War era about black patriots and loyalists. But the portrait, often seen in books on African-American history, was recently discovered to be a fraud.

Peter Williams, an expert on painting restoration, was hired to clean the portrait for an exhibit at the historic Fraunces Tavern Museum titled "Fighting for Freedom: Black Patriots and Black Loyalists." But with a quick dab of special paint remover, he discovered that black paint concealed a portrait of a white sailor underneath.

The painting is owned by Alexander McBirney, a retired doctor living in Rhode Island. Williams says he admires McBirney for wanting the truth to be revealed.

"He could have kept the secret and sold the painting for a huge profit," Williams says.

Williams believes the fraud was probably committed sometime in the early 1970s. He completed the restoration and McBirney kept the painting.

"I believe it now proudly rests in Dr. McBirney's living room," he says.


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: art; blackhistory; fraud; revolutionarywar

1 posted on 05/18/2006 7:09:09 PM PDT by tbird5
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To: tbird5

http://www.newyorker.com/talk/content/articles/060515ta_talk_baard


2 posted on 05/18/2006 7:09:33 PM PDT by tbird5
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To: tbird5

3 posted on 05/18/2006 7:12:06 PM PDT by SIDENET (Gonna shake it, gonna break it, let's forget it better still)
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To: tbird5

And I suppose that portrait of all those dogs playing poker is a fraud too?


4 posted on 05/18/2006 7:24:02 PM PDT by Horatio Gates (Remember the Alamo!)
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To: Horatio Gates

That was a photograph, silly!


5 posted on 05/18/2006 7:29:31 PM PDT by jigsaw (God Bless Our Troops. Our thanks to each and every one of you!)
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To: tbird5

Someone's having a good laugh.


6 posted on 05/18/2006 7:31:38 PM PDT by gotribe (It's not a religion.)
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To: gotribe

Funny thing is, the owner had the face repainted black.


7 posted on 05/18/2006 7:34:07 PM PDT by stainlessbanner
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To: tbird5

typical.


8 posted on 05/18/2006 7:36:02 PM PDT by GodfearingTexan
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To: SIDENET

Lousy effort at making the guy a black man. He looks green. First alien admiral of the Revolution?


9 posted on 05/18/2006 7:36:27 PM PDT by popdonnelly
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To: stainlessbanner
Funny thing is, the owner had the face repainted black.

Are you sure? That part seemed vague.

10 posted on 05/18/2006 7:48:24 PM PDT by Mind-numbed Robot (Not all that needs to be done, needs to be done by the government.)
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To: tbird5
...the fraud was probably committed sometime in the early 1970s.....

Maybe it was one of J.J.'s paintings from Good Times.

11 posted on 05/18/2006 8:09:12 PM PDT by spall
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To: Mind-numbed Robot
< snip > "He’s even had the sailor restored to his faux blackness." < /snip >
from the NYer article
12 posted on 05/18/2006 8:18:50 PM PDT by stainlessbanner
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To: tbird5

Reactions from NPR's listeners:

Mary Mapes: "It may be fake, but it certainly looks accurate."

Rosie O'Donnell: "It's a historical fact that both the painter and subject were gay lovers."

John Kerry: "That painting was given to me by a CIA agent in the summer of '68 while I was on a secret mission in Cambodia. I threw it over the museum fence in 1976."


13 posted on 05/18/2006 8:22:04 PM PDT by randog (What the...?!)
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To: gotribe

I certainly am!


14 posted on 05/18/2006 8:44:26 PM PDT by Wally_Kalbacken
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To: stainlessbanner

Thanks.


15 posted on 05/18/2006 8:47:31 PM PDT by Mind-numbed Robot (Not all that needs to be done, needs to be done by the government.)
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To: tbird5

Was there ever an original or is this the story of a black wash?


16 posted on 05/18/2006 8:49:13 PM PDT by A CA Guy (God Bless America, God bless and keep safe our fighting men and women.)
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To: tbird5

Fraud or not - - that painting will remain in government school textbooks forever, right next to the painting of the black, Asian, and Latino women firefighters raising the flag at Ground Zero and the missing pictures of the twelve men who walked on the moon.


17 posted on 05/18/2006 8:57:45 PM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: SIDENET
Yeah, looks awful white to me as well.


18 posted on 05/18/2006 9:01:18 PM PDT by A CA Guy (God Bless America, God bless and keep safe our fighting men and women.)
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To: randog

Those are pretty good!


19 posted on 05/18/2006 9:06:26 PM PDT by stainlessbanner
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To: tbird5

Jesse Jackson?


20 posted on 05/18/2006 9:07:47 PM PDT by Porterville (Do Not Betray The President During A Time Of War-- Unless You Are A Traitor)
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To: tbird5

I would bet half the people in America and probably most people elsewhere think Cleopatra was Black.


21 posted on 05/18/2006 9:12:34 PM PDT by yarddog
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To: SIDENET

22 posted on 05/18/2006 9:42:10 PM PDT by cj2a (When you're pathetic, but you don't know you're pathetic, that's really pathetic.)
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To: A CA Guy

I'm dying.....Bwahhhaaaaahaa. That was funny! I knew if I lurked long enough tonight one of you guys would come through for me. Thanks for the laugh. I needed that.


23 posted on 05/18/2006 10:02:14 PM PDT by DanielLongo (don't tread on me)
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To: cj2a

Sweet painting


24 posted on 05/18/2006 10:03:54 PM PDT by dc27
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To: jigsaw

LOL...all I know is that my dog always wags his tail when he has anything better than a full house...8>)


25 posted on 05/19/2006 7:30:14 AM PDT by Horatio Gates (Remember the Alamo!)
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To: Horatio Gates

LOL!! He's got no poker tail.


26 posted on 05/19/2006 7:32:40 AM PDT by retrokitten (would make an excellent sidekick on your late night talk show)
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To: yarddog

i thought cleopatra looked like liz taylor?


27 posted on 05/19/2006 7:45:38 AM PDT by absolootezer0 ("My God, why have you forsaken us.. no wait, its the liberals that have forsaken you... my bad")
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To: stainlessbanner; All
>black paint concealed a portrait of a white sailor underneath
>>Funny thing is, the owner had the face repainted black

I do not see why
this is called a fake. Painters
sometimes paint in layers,

doing "structure and
light" with one set of tones, then
glazing a finish

that may be different
from the underpainting. Hell,
Caravaggio

used to paint figures
naked and then add clothing
as a final step . . .

28 posted on 05/19/2006 7:51:09 AM PDT by theFIRMbss
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To: tbird5

I thought it was a painting of David Robinson.

Go Mavs!

29 posted on 05/19/2006 7:52:58 AM PDT by dfwgator (Florida Gators - 2006 NCAA Men's Basketball Champions)
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To: retrokitten

Nope, he's no Cool Paw Luke


30 posted on 05/19/2006 8:17:14 AM PDT by Horatio Gates (Remember the Alamo!)
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To: Horatio Gates

LOL!!!


31 posted on 05/19/2006 8:18:33 AM PDT by retrokitten (would make an excellent sidekick on your late night talk show)
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To: cj2a

Hurricane Katrina Art Bump


32 posted on 05/19/2006 2:12:36 PM PDT by dc27
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To: cj2a

LOL, that's great! BTW, I like your screen name. A good friend of mine used to have a '47 CJ2A.


33 posted on 05/19/2006 4:30:11 PM PDT by SIDENET (Gonna shake it, gonna break it, let's forget it better still)
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To: SIDENET

Thanks! Mine's a 46 and is in good restorable condition...just don't have time to do it. That thing in first gear 4 low will crawl over ANYTHING.


34 posted on 05/21/2006 9:35:06 AM PDT by cj2a (When you're pathetic, but you don't know you're pathetic, that's really pathetic.)
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To: indcons; Pharmboy

from May of last year.


35 posted on 02/14/2007 11:40:02 AM PST by SunkenCiv (I last updated my profile on Wednesday, February 14, 2007. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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