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NYT Touts White House Artworks, Misses Obvious Copy, Apparent Fraud (Freeper Breaks the Story)
Freeper Investigation ^ | 10-7-09 | Freeper

Posted on 10/08/2009 12:05:05 PM PDT by Atlas Sneezed

Yesterday, the NYT ran a story about the White House acquiring art. It included a slide show of a dozen artworks.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/07/arts/design/07borrow.html?_r=1

This Freeper took a look and found one abstract work he admired:

"Watusi (Hard Edge)," by Alma Thomas, a longtime Washington resident who is an African-American painter. Photo: Gift of Vincent Melzac/Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden.

As I admired it, I thought it reminiscent, even derivative of a favorite artwork of mine by Matisse. I recall seeing that one decades ago at the Tate Gallery in London. A giant collage (about ten feet tall) from late in Matisse's life, when his eyesight was failing:

The Snail (L'escargot), by Henri Matisse, Nice-Cimiez, Hotel Regina, [summer 1952-early] 1953, Gouache on paper, cut and pasted, on white paper, 9'4 3/4" x 9' 5" (287 x 288 cm) collection Tate Gallery, London.

I had planned to post them for comparison, and to share my admiration for both. But when I saw them side-by-side, the similarity clarified. I realized that the new one was EXACTLY the same composition as the Matisse, rotated 90 degrees.

Is this fraud? If the new piece has been titled "Homage to Collage" or "Matisse in Blue", I would think the artist wasn't trying to hide the copying. But I wonder whether anyone realized that the artist copied almost every aspect of a famous work to sell her artwork. Perhaps everyone involved knew that this is a re-colored reprint. If not, it seems to be an embarrassment for the "sophisticates" who failed to spot a copy hiding in plain sight.

As too many people say about abstract expressionist art: "Even I could have done THAT!"


TOPICS: Arts/Photography
KEYWORDS: art; figures; friendsofobama; frinthenews; matisse; plagiarism; ripoff; watusi
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To: Beelzebubba
Probably went to the U. of Colorado and took lessons from Ward Churchill. The original art copying, plagiarizing, fake Indian communist liar.
101 posted on 10/08/2009 12:40:34 PM PDT by fish hawk (Lord, help us to attain knowledge and the wisdom to apply it toward your ultimate will.)
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To: Beelzebubba

Great work. I left a message for Carol Vogel and told her she needs to write a follow up story that the work of art is a ripoff on Matisse.

New York Times — Headquarters
Website: www.nytimes.com
Phone: (212) 556-1234
Fax: (212) 556-3622
Address: 620 Eighth Avenue New York, NY 10036-3959


102 posted on 10/08/2009 12:40:48 PM PDT by doug from upland (10+ million views of HILLARY! UNCENSORED - put some ice on it, witch)
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To: Drango

She did hers 10 years AFTER.

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/art/news/obama-brightens-up-the-white-house-1731274.html?action=Popup&ino=3

Alma Thomas, Watusi (Hard Edge), 1963: A prominent abstract painter of the 1960s and 1970s and the first African-American woman to have a solo art exhibition at New York’s Whitney Museum. Born in Columbus in 1891, racist attitudes and a poor education system for African-Americans at that time hampered her childhood, but she excelled at architectural drawing.


103 posted on 10/08/2009 12:41:00 PM PDT by Drango (A liberal's compassion is limited only by the size of someone else's wallet.)
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To: Lonesome in Massachussets

LOL. So Matisse, ironically, was liberated by a black woman. The use of geometeric shapes to express cultural yearnings and aspirations was actually started by the ancient Egyptians, a black people who provided the foundation for Western Civilization.


104 posted on 10/08/2009 12:41:10 PM PDT by kabar
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To: Beelzebubba

Just to make sure it wasn’t the other way around, I checked. The African forger did her copy in 1963. Matisse did his original 52/53.

I apologize if this was pointed out in the thread. I didn’t see it.


105 posted on 10/08/2009 12:42:22 PM PDT by Malsua
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To: mnehring

They do. They have a mosaic quality to them.


106 posted on 10/08/2009 12:43:09 PM PDT by RushIsMyTeddyBear ('They're drinking the juice.'~ Barack H. Obama)
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To: Beelzebubba
He just borrowed it, that's all.
All lefties do it...
Presenting the highlight of Ward Churchill (Chief of the Wannabees) art career:


107 posted on 10/08/2009 12:43:48 PM PDT by frankenMonkey ("... a natural born Citizen" - US Constitution, 1787 - "Words have meaning" - Barack Obama)
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To: doug from upland

Drudge needs to post this....


108 posted on 10/08/2009 12:44:04 PM PDT by Drango (A liberal's compassion is limited only by the size of someone else's wallet.)
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To: Beelzebubba

Looks like a rip off to me. I looked at her other art-—very limited in ideas and creativity.


109 posted on 10/08/2009 12:45:34 PM PDT by two23 (czars are for commies)
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To: kabar

Wonder how long Wikipedia will let that stay there?

Good one! To the freeper who posted it! LOL

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alma_Thomas


110 posted on 10/08/2009 12:46:19 PM PDT by GloriaJane (http://www.last.fm/user/GloriaJane)
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To: kabar
Photography killed art, unfortunately.

The artist could never hope to reproduce the authenticity of the camera. But good artists like Norman Rockwell understood that academic realism did not preclude adding the artists interpretation to the image.

Great artists always made paintings that convey more than photons captured on paper or in a ccd ever could.

111 posted on 10/08/2009 12:46:29 PM PDT by Lonesome in Massachussets (The People have abdicated our duties; ... and anxiously hope for just two things: bread and circuses)
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To: Beelzebubba

Wow.

And to think that they removed the bust of Winston Churchill.


112 posted on 10/08/2009 12:46:44 PM PDT by reagandemocrat
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To: Beelzebubba
To be fair, I want to throw out the possibility that this isn't something she stole but a misidentification that hasn't been corrected. For example, a museum may have had a show with both artists and it was written up by a paper that misidentified the painting as hers, that story kept being re-used by the news so much, the incorrect identification became mainstream.

The arguments for this are:
Her other paintings are drastically different than this.
She was very successful and known for her other style there wouldn't be a need to copy.

Also, Matisse is known to have made several paintings around a theme. For example, Icarus and La Chute.

This could just be a case of piss poor journalism.

113 posted on 10/08/2009 12:46:49 PM PDT by mnehring
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To: Beelzebubba
Good catch!

It looks like political correctness prevents the art world from calling a spade a spade:

The Smithsonian Magazine, August 4, 2009

Decorating the White House with Smithsonian Art

Watusi (Hard Edge)

Alma Thomas
1963

Acrylic on canvas

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

Alma Thomas, the first African-American woman to have a solo show at the Whitney Museum, was linked to the color-field school that had developed in Washington, D.C. in the 1960s. In Watusi, Thomas is trying to mix together different styles such as Henri Matisse’s cutouts. “She was also interested in the idea that color could generate musical correspondence,” Brougher says. “It was more than creating an abstract painting but trying to create music out of painting.”

The sole commenter on the article wasn't playing the PC game:

This isn't just "mixing together" influences including Matisse. It is a direct copy of a Matisse work, just rotated 90 degrees and with the colors switched around:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/strifu/2205522821

Posted by MDC on August 4,2009 | 10:27PM

114 posted on 10/08/2009 12:46:54 PM PDT by kristinn (A conspiracy of silence speaks louder than words.)
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To: Red Badger

LOL! Michelle just hung her Matisse reproduction sideways! What does she know, anyway?


115 posted on 10/08/2009 12:47:19 PM PDT by Liberty Ship ("Lord, make me fast and accurate.")
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To: mnehring
You make a very good point.

Journalistic screwups are far too frequent to ignore that possibility.

116 posted on 10/08/2009 12:48:09 PM PDT by TChris (There is no freedom without the possibility of failure.)
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To: Beelzebubba

I wonder who else Alma ripped off.


117 posted on 10/08/2009 12:49:11 PM PDT by maggief
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To: Beelzebubba; LucyT
Matisse did not invebt abstract art!!!

Rev Wright says BLACK FOLK invented it. Tis proves it!!!!( sarc off!) National Socialism redefining history, just like was done n 1920s Europe, and it is why the Nazis stole and hid all politiically incorreect works of art. Soon we will see traditional US colonial art start to disappear ( It never happened).

118 posted on 10/08/2009 12:50:09 PM PDT by Candor7 (The effective weapons against Fascism are ridicule, derision, and truth (Member NRA)
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To: frankenMonkey

There are much, much worse wannabees. This one by a certain Austrian artist manqué, for instance.

119 posted on 10/08/2009 12:50:13 PM PDT by Lonesome in Massachussets (The People have abdicated our duties; ... and anxiously hope for just two things: bread and circuses)
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To: Beelzebubba
OK, ignore my previous post about misidentification. I checked on the Smithsonian's site where the painting is normally kept and apparently, described it as "Alma Thomas, the first African-American woman to have a solo show at the Whitney Museum, was linked to the color-field school that had developed in Washington, D.C. in the 1960s. In Watusi, Thomas is trying to mix together different styles such as Henri Matisse’s cutouts. “She was also interested in the idea that color could generate musical correspondence,” Brougher says. “It was more than creating an abstract painting but trying to create music out of painting.”

Basically, it was an admitted study of Matisse.

Probably not as big if a deal as is what first appears. Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/Decorating-the-White-House-with-Smithsonian-Art.html?c=y&page=9#ixzz0TNLungOn

120 posted on 10/08/2009 12:50:50 PM PDT by mnehring
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To: TChris

Thanks for doing that overlay. Very illustrative of the plagiarism.


121 posted on 10/08/2009 12:52:24 PM PDT by angkor (The U.S. Congress is at war with America.)
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To: TChris

See 120, I was wrong, also, it is well a known ‘study’ piece of Matisse’s work. I think we all (myself included) jumped the gun.


122 posted on 10/08/2009 12:52:45 PM PDT by mnehring
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To: kristinn

It is also different media.


123 posted on 10/08/2009 12:53:52 PM PDT by mnehring
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To: mnehring
See 120, I was wrong, also, it is well a known ‘study’ piece of Matisse’s work. I think we all (myself included) jumped the gun.

We were right about the copy/similarity, but wrong about the motive.

I'm proud of FR that the truth came out though.

124 posted on 10/08/2009 12:54:19 PM PDT by TChris (There is no freedom without the possibility of failure.)
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To: Beelzebubba

How much is that painting worth in Obama Money?


125 posted on 10/08/2009 12:54:25 PM PDT by McGruff (Go rogue baby, go rogue!)
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To: machogirl
kudos. that also looks like something my kids made in grad school. ;)

Mine too, with colored tissue paper and glue.

126 posted on 10/08/2009 12:54:40 PM PDT by murphE ("It is terrible to contemplate how few politicians are hanged." - GK Chesterton)
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To: mnehring

Found this on an art website:

A good place to begin thinking about Alma Thomas’s ravishing late work might be the moment in 1964 when, close to paralysis and bedridden, the 73-year-old artist found herself staring at the hollyhock shadows she had known her entire life and calculating how to use them in her paintings. A year earlier, she had seen the late Matisse cutouts at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Matisse’s work had prompted her to paint an acrylic-on-canvas version of his collage The Snail (1953), in which nearly all the original colors were reversed. Thomas named her painting Watusi (Hard Edge), after Chubby Checker’s dance hit “The Watusi.”


127 posted on 10/08/2009 12:55:24 PM PDT by Portnoy (Visit me at www.thehipposass.com or follow me on Twitter @thehipposass)
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To: TChris
We were right about the copy/similarity, but wrong about the motive. I'm proud of FR that the truth came out though.

Exactly, she was open about it being a study and it is listed as such, pretty common for artists to do this. It was, however, a fun intellectual exercise and a chance for a little art research.. now on to important topics.

128 posted on 10/08/2009 12:55:52 PM PDT by mnehring
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To: mnehring
Basically, it was an admitted study of Matisse

study=copy

129 posted on 10/08/2009 12:56:06 PM PDT by kabar
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To: Beelzebubba
As long as we're discussing fine art, here's an interesting work I'm going to be adding to my collection soon...


130 posted on 10/08/2009 12:56:32 PM PDT by paulycy (Screw the RACErs)
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To: Lonesome in Massachussets
>>>> There are much, much worse wannabees. This one by a certain Austrian artist manqué, for instance. <<<<

If you haven't yet seen it, rent this very unique documentary which explores the monumental larceny of that very bad painter and his degenerate cronies.

http://www.rapeofeuropa.com/home.asp


131 posted on 10/08/2009 12:57:29 PM PDT by angkor (The U.S. Congress is at war with America.)
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To: kabar

But no intent to deceive.


132 posted on 10/08/2009 12:58:49 PM PDT by mnehring
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To: N. Theknow

Looks like someone kidnapped Sherwin Williams and this is the ransom note.


LOL!


133 posted on 10/08/2009 1:00:21 PM PDT by Atlas Sneezed (Why not "interpret" your tax returns like the Supreme Court "interprets" the Constitution?)
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To: Drango

I sent it to Breitbart.


134 posted on 10/08/2009 1:00:53 PM PDT by doug from upland (10+ million views of HILLARY! UNCENSORED - put some ice on it, witch)
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To: smokingfrog

you now owe me one new keyboard since mine is covered with a beverage that was supposed to wet my whistle.


135 posted on 10/08/2009 1:01:52 PM PDT by madamemayhem (defeat isn't getting knocked down, it's not getting back up)
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To: mnehring

I don’t believe it was a “study” of Matisse. More like a rip-off.


136 posted on 10/08/2009 1:02:02 PM PDT by Drango (A liberal's compassion is limited only by the size of someone else's wallet.)
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To: paulycy

LOL I like it!


137 posted on 10/08/2009 1:02:09 PM PDT by antisocial (Texas SCV - Deo Vindice)
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To: Lonesome in Massachussets
“Photography killed art, unfortunately.
The artist could never hope to reproduce the authenticity of the camera. “

I disagree. Modernism/ Liberalism killed art. Modernism and Liberalism must deny the existence of truth, or any other objective and universal standard.

Beauty is truth, and portrayal of beauty necessarily affirms the existence of truth. Therefore just as liberalism and modernism must stamp out any notion of truth in all human endeavors, it must also destroy the expression of beauty, hence the movement towards abstraction, and the denial of any aesthetic sense or standard as “bourgeoisie sentimentality” or a “cultural prejudice”.

As such modern art is devoid of meaning, beauty and at best can trigger an emotional provocation in the viewer.

Without truth, there is no right, justice or beauty, only power, and power issues from the barrel of a gun.

Frgds,
3/M

138 posted on 10/08/2009 1:02:30 PM PDT by ThirdMate
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To: Candor7; Beelzebubba; LucyT

>>> the Nazis stole and hid all politiically incorreect works of art <<<<

Actually they stole everything they liked and could get away with (particularly if it had been owned by Jewish patrons or art dealers), and burned and destroyed the “politically incorrrect” stuff that they didn’t like.

See #131 above. “The Rape Of Europa” is an excellent documentary of it all.


139 posted on 10/08/2009 1:03:28 PM PDT by angkor (The U.S. Congress is at war with America.)
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To: Beelzebubba

No different than the coppied “art” of Ward Churchill.


140 posted on 10/08/2009 1:03:29 PM PDT by Ruy Dias de Bivar (You talkin' ta me? YOU TALKIN TO ME! Well just who are you talkin' to?)
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To: library user

in grad school they expect you to put glitter on it.


141 posted on 10/08/2009 1:04:04 PM PDT by madamemayhem (defeat isn't getting knocked down, it's not getting back up)
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To: Beelzebubba
The NYT:

Where they hire the deaf (they can't hear real Americans protesting), dumb (they fall for every spin and lie of the liberal politicians and talking heads), and blind (they can't tell an original artwork from an obvious copy/fraud - nor a Birth Certificate, either).

I guess you can say they are fully staffed with people who have occupational disabilities.

Good catch, Beelzebubba! A FReeper scores again with another expose.

142 posted on 10/08/2009 1:04:41 PM PDT by CitizenM ("An excuse is worse than an lie, because an excuse is a lie hidden." Pope John Paul, II)
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ping


143 posted on 10/08/2009 1:05:50 PM PDT by GulfBreeze (Palin 2012 - For The Change You Wanted!!!)
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To: Beelzebubba
You weren't the first to notice the resemblance........

Alma Thomas

144 posted on 10/08/2009 1:06:12 PM PDT by Hot Tabasco (Who's your Long Legged MacDaddy?)
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To: ThirdMate

I agree with you. I wasn’t clear. I think modernism is a reaction to photography. Abstract art became the dominant form with the advance of photography. Artists no longer seemed needed to provide a record for posterity.


145 posted on 10/08/2009 1:07:27 PM PDT by Lonesome in Massachussets (The People have abdicated our duties; ... and anxiously hope for just two things: bread and circuses)
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To: Cicero

All I see is a kid with a bottle of glue, a pair of scissors, various construction paper sheets, and a stack of assorted tissue papers.

Easy-peasy fancy art.


146 posted on 10/08/2009 1:08:23 PM PDT by madison10
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To: angkor

Hitler repulses me much more than he could possibly fascinate me. I read Speer’s memoir, that’s about everything I need to know about the Nazis.


147 posted on 10/08/2009 1:09:06 PM PDT by Lonesome in Massachussets (The People have abdicated our duties; ... and anxiously hope for just two things: bread and circuses)
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To: kabar

The artist knew good art? It’ll be a constant reminder to those in the WH the truth will be told in time.


148 posted on 10/08/2009 1:10:57 PM PDT by swheats (America! America! God mend thine every flaw, Confirm thy soul in self-control, Thy liberty in law!)
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To: Beelzebubba
The Snail (L'escargot), by Henri Matisse in 1953

Watusi (Hard Edge), by Alma Thomas in 1963

Fraudulent art for a fraudulent president.
149 posted on 10/08/2009 1:11:59 PM PDT by PA Engineer (Liberate America from the occupation media.)
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To: Hot Tabasco; doug from upland

With the above being said, that doesn’t excuse a wannabe lackatalent old lady from plagarizing a true artist’s original compositions and calling it their own........even if it’s written up in some artsy-fartsy publication.


150 posted on 10/08/2009 1:12:18 PM PDT by Hot Tabasco (Who's your Long Legged MacDaddy?)
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