Authentication and Detection of Forgeries in Artwork

George Shu, Ph.D. and Alexandre Fong M.Sc.

According to the Fine Arts Experts Institute (FAEI), as much as half of the works in the roughly $60 billion art market are forgeries. Although the authentication process relies mostly on the visual skills of art experts who scrutinize pieces based on style and technique, more scientific technology-based methods are growing in demand and importance as part of the verification process. Hyperspectral imaging provides a convenient and economical means to enhance and possibly obviate such costly and sometimes destructive means.