Authentication and Evaluation of Paintings


What to do if you can't identify the artist

Not all is lost if there is no signature on your painting.

Even without the artist's name, there is still plenty to discover. If you have clues regarding the title, style, or date of the work, but no artist information, you can still track the origins of your painting with careful research. Look for well-illustrated exhibition catalogs or general art survey books to see if you can find any similar works that would help match your artwork to a particular "school of artists" or your artist.

If you are unable to learn anything about your artist online or in books -- don't give up. If the artist lived locally or if you can discern by looking at the painting a location where it might have been painted, you can investigate these leads. Some public libraries and museum art libraries have miscellaneous files on artists that painted in their locations. You can contact nearby historical societies for unpublished information held in their files. Also, local art dealers or artist members of art associations or local artists in artist co-ops may recognize the name of the artist.

"Appraisal days" are held annually by an increasing number of art museums. For a nominal fee members of the public may obtain verbal opinions on who created objects of art from experts. Call your local museum to learn where and when such an event will take place. Or, your city may be on the tour of the popular Antiques Roadshow sponsored by PBS.


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While Traditional Fine Art Organization, Inc (TFAO) does not provide authentication services, the information in this report is provided as a public service and may be of help to readers studying approaches to authentication and evaluation of their works of art. Names and addresses of consultants or vendors.are provided only as referrals for your further consideration. TFAO is not paid by consultants or vendors for listings in this report and does not receive any referral fees from them. Please use due diligence in employing these or other consultants or vendors. TFAO takes no responsibility for the accuracy of the information herein. Information from the named consultants or vendors may be inaccurate or out of date. TFAO neither recommends or endorses referenced organizations. Although TFAO includes links to other Internet sites, it takes no responsibility for the content or information contained on those other sites, nor exerts any editorial or other control over those other sites. The names, logos, trademarks, and service marks of TFAO and its publications that appear within this web site may not be used in any advertising, publicity, promotion, or in any other manner implying TFAO endorsement, sponsorship, or affiliation with any product or service, without TFAO's prior express written permission.

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