When one of the most prolific art forgers in US history is finally exposed, he must confront the legacy of his 30-year con.
Mark Landis has been called one of the most prolific art forgers in US history. His impressive body of work spans thirty years, covering a wide range of painting styles and periods that includes 15th Century Icons, Picasso, and even Walt Disney. And while the copies could fetch impressive sums on the open market, Landis isn’t in it for money. Posing as a philanthropic donor, a grieving executor of a family member’s will, a Jesuit priest, among others, Landis has given away hundreds of works over the years to a staggering list of institutions across the United States. But after duping Matthew Leininger, a tenacious registrar who ultimately discovers the decades-long ruse and sets out to expose his philanthropic escapades to the art world, Landis must confront his own legacy and a chorus of museum professionals clamoring for him to stop. Rooted in questions of authorship and authenticity, ART AND CRAFT starts out as a cat-and-mouse art caper, and what emerges is an intimate story of obsession and the universal need for community, appreciation, and purpose.