RSS file with home page updates in XML RSS Info divider Bookmark and Share divider email Join our email list! divider cartCart  
Icarus Film
Distributing innovative and
provocative documentary films
from independent producers
around the world
32 Court Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201divider(718) 488 8900
Artful History: A Restoration Comedy
A Film by Jason Simon and Mark Dion
 Text Size Increase Font Size Decrease Font Size divider Printable VersionPrintable Version
film still

Works of art can offer the illusion of timeless and permanent beauty. But that illusion is often purchased at the cost of hours of work by restorers who can either save them from decay, or damage them irreparably.

A work of art may be viewed as a masterpiece, a document of the past, or a commercially valuable item. The job of the restorers - whose efforts color our perceptions of artworks - lies at the very heart of these competing views.

film still

Through interviews with a former restorer willing to spill the secrets of the trade, ARTFUL HISTORY offers up a rogues' gallery of dubious restoration efforts. The film includes shocking horror stories of works altered to increase their commercial value: a painting cut into three to create a triptych, a 19th- century forgery disguised so that it can be passed off as an original, antiquarian pieces of African art with limbs sawed off or limbs from other sources glued on.

But this documentary goes beyond shock value. ARTFUL HISTORY offers a thoughtful look at the world of art restoration and raises crucial questions about art, authenticity, and the tension between historical and commercial value.

"A trenchant critique, it dissects the profitable discourse that envelops fine art." - Village Voice


28 minutes / color
Copyright: 1988
Sale: $248

Subject areas:
Art, Cultural Studies, Painting

Related Titles:
Hermitage-Niks: This five-part series is the expanded, in-depth version of THE HERMITAGE DWELLERS.

Secret Museums: For millenia erotic art has been created, often by some of the world's best-known artists. But it is rarely on public display.

Stolen Art: In 1978 in New York City, an unknown Czech artist by the name of Pavel Novak held an exhibit entitled Stolen Art...

Views on Vermeer: 10 contemporary artists and writers invite us to discover or re-discover the painter's work, and to appreciate it in new ways.

Home | New | Titles | Subjects | PDFs | Ordering | Resources | Latest News | Site Map   
About | Closed Captioned | Best Sellers | Study Guides | Filmmakers | RSS | Screenings   
  Follow Us! On...
Facebook Follow Icarus Films on Twitter YouTube
Copyright (c) 2016, Icarus Films
Last Updated August 17, 2015
Privacy Policy