In Deed: Certificates of Authenticity in Art

  • Jan 12, 2013 – Apr 14, 2013
  • The Leah Louise B. Tannenbaum Gallery
Marcel Duchamp, "Tzanck Check (detail from Boîte-en-valise [Box in a
Valise])", 1919/1938, printed facsimile, two-color offset lithograph with
hand stamped number, 8 1/4 x 15 in. Courtesy Francis M. Naumann Fine
Art, New York, © Succession Marcel Duchamp, 2011, ADAGP, Paris/ARS, New

Certificates of authenticity are a critical aspect of making and selling artwork today. They sometimes embody the artwork itself, but also may serve as its deed, legal statement, and/or fiscal invoice. Certificates by artists validate the authorship and originality of the work of art and allow it to be positioned in the marketplace as a branded product—no matter how immaterial or transient that product may be.  

Providing examples of artists’ certificates from the past fifty years, the exhibition reveals shifts and developments in how art is considered, as well as how the materials and content of art have changed. Works range from the most official looking printed documents to dashed-off notations that perform the same definitive function of authentication. 

The exhibition includes certificates from a global roster of artists that includes Marcel Duchamp, Judith Barry, Dan Flavin, Andrea Fraser, Yves Klein, Sol LeWitt, Yoko Ono, Adrian Piper, Robert Rauschenberg, and Franz West, among others. 

Organized by independent curators, Susan Hapgood and Cornelia Lauf, this internationally traveling exhibition makes its only Southeast stop at the Weatherspoon Art Museum. The exhibition is organized for the Weatherspoon by Nancy Doll, Director.


Related programs:

Guest Curators Talk • Sun Jan 13 @ 2pm

Noon @ the 'Spoon • Tue Feb 12 @ 12pm

We have six galleries located on the first and second levels of the museum, view our gallery map.